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This book sho^ibd rdiataad on or bafor^ tiid date 
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Cambridge University Press 
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Maruzen Company, Ltd 

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F. R.A.I., F. S.A., F.S. A.Scot. 

Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology 
in the University of Edinburgh 




Preface ....... page xi 


I The Implications of the Bronze Age . . I 

II Metallurgy and Trade . . . . 28 

Mining and Smelting, 28 ; Casting and Moulds, 30 ; Trade in the Ancient 
East, 385 Bronze Age Trade in Europe, 405 Definition of a Culture, 41 5 
Hoards, 43; Trade Routes, 46; the Climate of the Bronze Age, 485 
Vehicles and Ships, 49; Writing, Weights and Measures, 535 Typo- 
logical Chronology, 53; Absolute Chronology, 58 

III Typology ...... 60 

Celts (Axe-heads), 60 j T-axe, 675 Adzes, 67; Chisels and Gouges, 70; 
Axes (Shaft-hole axes), 715 Transverse Axe (Shaft-hole Adze), 725 
Double-axe, 72 j Axe-Adze, 74$ Battle- Axes, 75; Daggers, 75; Rapiers, 
82 j Swords, 84; Chapes, 87; Halberds, 87$ Spear-heads, 89$ Arrow- 
heads, 935 Knives, 945 Razors, 975 Tweezers, 1005 Sickles, 101; 
Harness, 1025 Ornaments, 1055 Pins, 105; Bracelets, Anklets and 
Collars, 1175 Finger-rings, 125; Buttons, Clasps, Studs and Tutuli, 
1265 Ear-rings and Lock-rings, 129; Necklaces and Pendants, 1325 
Vessels, 135 

IV The Early Bronze Age . . . .138 

Central Europe, 1395 Upper Italy, 1455 Spain, 146.5 Great Britain, 153 

V The Middle Bronze Age . . . .168 

Scandinavia, 1685 the Tumulus Bronze Culture, 1735 the Italian Terre- 
mare, 1785 Hungary, i8ij the Rh6ne Culture, 1855 Great Britain, 186 


VI The Late Bronze Age . . . page 192 

Sicily, 195; Sardinia, 1975 the Villanova Culture in Italy, 2015 the 
Lausitz Culture, 205; the Alpine Urnfields, 2095 the North, 2165 
Hungary and Russia, 2215 Great Britain, 224 

VII Races 238 

Bibliography . . . . . .248 


Food Vessel from Argyllshire ..... frontispiece 

Fig. i page 31 

(i) Nilotic smith at work; (2) Clay nozzle from pile-village of Morigen, 
Switzerland (after Ischer); (3) Egyptian goldsmiths (after de Morgan). 

Fig- 2 33 

(i) Stone mould for flat celt, Scotland; (2) Stone valve-mould for spear- 
heads, British Museum; (3) Bronze valve-mould for palstave, British 
Museum; (4) Clay mould for socketed celt, Heathery Burn cave; 
(5) Reconstruction of a three-piece mould for bronze buttons. 

Knee-shaft of wood for hafting celts . . . . . 59 

Fig. 3 63 

(i) Flat celt, Egypt, protodynastic; (2) Flat celt, Susa, prediluvian; 
(3) Flat celt, Scotland, Early Bronze Age; (4) Winged-flanged celt, 
Scotland, Early to Middle Bronze Age; (5) Palstave, England, Middle 
Bronze Age; (6) Palstave with ear, England, Late Bronze Age; (7) Two- 
eared palstave, England; (8) Winged celt with ear, England, Late Bronze 
Age; (9) Winged adze with ear, Switzerland, Late Bronze Age; (10) 
Socketed celt, England, Late Bronze Age. 


Fig. 4 page 69 

(1) Long flanged celt, South-western Germany, Middle Bronze Age 5 

(2) Long winged celt, South-western Germany, Middle Bronze Age 5 

(3) Constricted celt, Switzerland, Middle Bronze Age 5 (4) Bohemian pal- 
stave, Bohemia, Middle Bronze Age ; (5) Northern type of flanged celt, 
Denmark, Middle Bronze Age ; (6) Northern type of socketed celt, Den- 
mark, Middle Bronze Age ; (7) Socketed celt with imitation wings, 
Hungary, Late Bronze Age; (8) Flanged celt, Silesia. 

Fig. 5 69 

(i) T-axe, Egypt, Old to Middle Kingdom; (2) Egyptian round-headed 
adze; (3) Lug adze, Sicily, Late Bronze Age; (4) Socketed gouge, 
Heathery Burn cave ; (5) Tanged chisel, early type, England ; (6) Tanged 
chisel, later type, England. 

Fig. 6 73 

(i) Early Sumerian axe, Ur; (2) Sumerian transverse axe, Ur; (3) Copper 
axe, Hungary; (4) Symbolic double-axe, Rhine; (5) Axe-adze, Crete, 
Middle Minoan; (6) Axe-adze, Hungary, "Copper Age". 

Fig. 7 77 

(i) Predynastic flat dagger with handle; (2) West European dagger, 
England; (3) Round-heeled dagger, England, Early Bronze Age; 

(4) Asiatic tanged dagger, Ur, early Sumerian; (5) Cypriote dagger from 
Hungary; (6) Bronze-hilted dagger, Bohemia, Early Bronze Age; 

(7) Ogival dagger, South Germany, Middle Bronze Age. 

Fig. 8. Rapiers and swords . . . . . . 81 

(i) Mycenae, Shaft Graves, M.M. Ill, type I; (2) Mycenae, Shaft 
Graves, M.M. Ill, type II a\ (3) Mycenae, Shaft Graves, M.M. Ill, 
type 116; (4) Crete, Zafer Papoura, L.M. Ill, cruciform guards; 

(5) Crete, Zafer Papoura, L.M. Ill, horned guards; (6) South-western 
Germany, Middle Bronze Age; (7) Hungary, Late Bronze Age; 

(8) Bavaria, Middle Bronze Age; (9) Hungary, Late Bronze Age; 
(10) Morigen sword, Switzerland; (n) Antennae sword, Switzerland; 
(12) Hallstatt sword of bronze, Early Iron Age, Austria. 

Fig. 9 88 

(i) Looped chape, Bavaria, Middle Bronze Age; (2) Chape, Scotland, 
Late Bronze Age; (3) Winged chape, Scotland, Hallstatt pattern; 
(4) Bronze shafted halberd, Early Bronze Age, Germany; (5) Halberd 
blade, Italy, Early Bronze Age; (6) Middle Bronze Age sword, Denmark. 


Fig. 10. Spear-heads page 91 

(i) Poker-butted, Ur, Early Sumerian; (2) Tanged, England, Early 
Bronze Age; (3) Tanged with ferrule, England, Early to Middle Bronze 
Age; (4) Two-eared, Ireland, Middle Bronze Age; (5) With loops in 
base of blade, England, Middle to Late Bronze Age; (6) With slits in 
blade, Scotland, Late Bronze Age. 

Fig. ii. Knives ........ 96 

(i) Flame-shaped, Troy II; (2) Tanged, South Germany, Late Bronze 
Age D ; (3) Bronze-handled, Bohemia, Late Bronze Age D ; (4) Flanged, 
Bavaria, Late Bronze Age E ; (5) Socketed, Alsace, Late Bronze Age E ; 
(6) Tanged, Switzerland, Late Bronze Age E; (7) Swiss type, Late 
Bronze Age E; (8) Double-edged tanged, England, Late Bronze Age; 
(9) Double-edged socketed, England, Late Bronze Age; (10) Curved, 
Scotland, Late Bronze Age. 

Fig. 12 99 

(i) Minoan single-edged razor, Zafer Papoura; (2) Minoan double- 
edged razor, Zafer Papoura; (3, 4) Siculan II razors, earlier type; 
(5) Terremare razor, Upper Italy; (6) Double-edged razor, Bohemia; 
(7} Horse-shoe razor, South-west Germany; (8) Rectangular razor, 
Villanova; (9) Late Siculan II razor; (10) Double-edged razor, England; 
(n) Single-edged razor, Denmark. 

Fig. 13 103 

(i) Button sickle, England, Middle Bronze Age; (2) Grooved sickle, 
Italy, Middle Bronze Age; (3) Socketed sickle, Ireland, Late Bronze Age; 
(4) Hooked sickle, Transylvania, Late Bronze Age; (5) Bugle-shaped 
object from harness, England, Late Bronze Age; (6) Reconstruction of 
bit with horn cheek-pieces and wooden bar; (7) Jointed bronze bit, 
Swiss lakes, Late Bronze Age. 

Fig. 14 109 

(i) Roll-headed pin, Kish, Early Sumerian; (2) Toggle pin, Kish, Early 
Sumerian; (3) Racket pin, Ur, Early Sumerian; (4) Wheel pin, South- 
west Germany, Middle Bronze Age; (5) Knot-headed pin, Bohemia, 
Early Bronze Age; (6) Aunjetitz pin, Bohemia, Early Bronze Age; 
(7) Pin with bent disk head, Bohemia, Late Bronze Age; (8) Sunflower 
pin, Ireland, Late Bronze Age; (9) Pin with lateral loop, England, Late 
Bronze Age; (10) Ribbed pin, Alsace, Late Bronze Age; (n) Vase- 
headed pin, Bavaria, Late Bronze Age; (12) Violin-bow fibula, Switzer- 
land, Middle Bronze Age ; (i 3) Simple arc fibula, Italy, Late Bronze Age ; 
(14) Hungarian fibula with looped bow, Late Bronze Age; (15) Elbow 
fibula, Siculan II; (16) Two-piece fibula, Denmark, Middle Bronze Age; 
(17) Two-piece fibula, Denmark, Late Bronze Age. 


Fig. 15 page 119 

(i) Heavy ribbed armlet, Bavaria, Late Bronze Age 5 (2) Gold armlet, 
Ireland, Middle to Late Bronze Age; (3) Hungarian armlet, with spiral 
ends, Middle Bronze Age; (4) Horizontally ribbed armlet, Hungary, 
Middle Bronze Age; (5) Hooked double armlet, England, Middle 
Bronze Age; (6) Spiral-ended anklet, Alsace, Late Bronze Age; (7) Ingot 
torque, Bohemia, Early Bronze Age; (8) Gold ear-ring, Troy II; 
(9) Twisted gold armlet, England; (10) Spiral-ended finger-ring, South 
Germany; (n) Helical wire tutulus, Bavaria, Early Bronze Age; 
(12) Spiked tutulus, Hungary, Middle Bronze Age; (13, 14) Gold lock- 
rings, Early and Middle Bronze Age. 

Fig. 16 125 

(i) Gold torque, Scotland, Middle Bronze Age; (2) Twisted gold arm- 
let, Scotland, Middle Bronze Age (after Anderson). 

Fig. 17 . . . . ' 131 

(i) Bronze collar, Denmark, Middle Bronze Age; (2) Bronze tutulus, 
Denmark, Middle Bronze Age; (3) Bronze tutulus, Denmark, Middle 
Bronze Age; (4) Hanging vase (tutulus), Denmark, Late Bronze Age; 
(5) Bronze tutulus, Denmark, Late Bronze Age; (6) Torque with alter- 
nating torsion, Denmark, Late Bronze Age; (7) Gold "sun disk", 
Ireland, Late Bronze Age; (8) Penannular gold ornament, Ireland, Late 
Bronze Age. 

Fig. 1 8 . 133 

(i) Jet necklace, Scotland, Early Bronze Age; (2) Button with V-per- 
foration, England, Early Bronze Age; (3) Jet pulley ring; (4) Segmented 
bead, England, Middle to Late Bronze Age. 

* Fig. 19. Irish gold lunula 137 

? ig. 20 143 

(i) Early Aunjetitz pouched jug, Moravia; (2) Aunjetitz dish; (3) Mature 
Aunjetitz jug, Moravia; (4) El Argar bowl; (5) El Argar goblet; (6) El 
Argar beaker; (7) Food vessel with shoulder groove, Scotland (after 
Anderson); (8) Food vessel (after Anderson). 

'ig. 21 165 

(i) Conventionalized human figures carved on rocks of Galicia ; (2) Cover- 
stone of a kist at Carnwarth, Lanarkshire; (3) Slab from the tomb at 
Kivik, Sweden. 


Fig. 22 page 177 

(1) Jug ornamented with warts, Tumulus culture, Wurtemberg; 

(2) Cup with fretwork patterns. Tumulus culture} (3) Pannonian cup; 

(4) Pannonian cup 5 (5) Cup, south Hungarian urnfields; (6) South 
Hungarian urn ; (7) Urn with wart ornament, terremare of Italy. 

Fig. 23 182 

(i) Hungarian battle axe; (2) Disk-head pin, Hungarian type; (3) Mush- 
room pin of Hungarian type; (4) Cylinder, Hungary; (5) Sacral ivy- 
leaf pendant, Hungary; (6) Pectiform pendant, Hungary. 

Fig. 24. British cinerary urns . . . . . .188 

(i) Overhanging rim type, early; (2) Overhanging rim type, later form; 

(3) Cordoned urn, Scotland; (4) Bucket urn, Dorset; (5) Encrusted urn, 
Scotland; (6) Urn of Type 3, group 2; (7) Cornish urn; (8) Globular 
urn; (9) Incense cup with slits; (10) Incense cup; (n) Grape cup. 

Bronze figure from Sardinia 191 

Fig. 25. Late Bronze Age urns ...... 203 

(i) Transitional type, Bismantova, North Italy; (2) Villanovan ossuary; 
(3) Urn with cylindrical neck, Wurtemberg; (4) Pillar urn, Tyrol; 

(5) Hut urn, Latium. 

Fig. 26. Lausitz grave group (after Antiquity) . . . 207 

Fig. 27. Bronze vessels . . . . . . .223 

(i) Gold cup from hoard of Unter-Glauheim, Bavaria; (2) Bronze 
cauldron with T-handles, same hoard; (3) Bronze bucket with birds' 
heads, same hoard ; (4) Bronze cauldron, West Scotland (after Anderson), 

Fig. 28. Bronze shield, Scotland, Late Bronze Age (after Anderson) 225 

Fig. 29. Lurer, Denmark 23 : 

Fig. 30. Bronze shield, Bohemia 23^ 

Fig. 31. Late Bronze Age trumpet from Scotland (after Anderson) 24* 
MAP of Bronze Age Europe . ... in pocket at em 


This book is intended to take up the story of prehis- 
toric industrial development in North-western Europe 
from the point at which Mr M. C. Burkitt's Our Early 
Ancestors left it. While not a sequel to that work, mine 
presupposes such knowledge of general prehistory and 
the New Stone Age as may be found there and is 
intended to appeal to the same class of students. On the 
other hand, the nature and increased complexity of the 
material involves difference of treatment. And for the 
purposes of this more intensive study some of the 
divisions and classifications of the Bronze Age material, 
foreshadowed in one preliminary chapter of Mr Burkitt's 
book, have needed modification on lines explained here. 
Otherwise, I have refrained from duplicating his work 
save in so far as was necessary to make this book a 
complete and independent whole. 

The bibliography aims primarily at indicating general 
works from which more detailed references can be 
obtained. Nevertheless some articles of outstanding 
importance or describing phases of Bronze Age 
civilization not yet adequately dealt with in larger 
comprehensive works have been included, even when 
they appear in comparatively obscure periodicals. 


My thanks are due to the Society of Antiquaries of 
Scotland and to the Trustees of the British Museum 
for permission to reproduce figures; to Mrs M. C. 
Burkitt for her skilful re-drawing of some of the figures; 
and to Mr A. J. Edwards for reading the proofs. 






E story of human culture has long been divided 
JL conventionally into three main volumes according to 
the material generally employed for the principal cutting 
implements. At first our forerunners could only make 
knives and axes by chipping or grinding stone, bone or 
ivory. The period when such tools were alone in use is 
termed the Stone Age and constitutes the first volume, 
Mr Burkitt's books cited in the Bibliography give a 
good summary of its contents. The second volume opens 
when man has learned that certain kinds of stone may 
be compelled by heating under suitable conditions to 
yield a substance which, while hot, can be modelled or 
even run into a mould, but on cooling retains its shape 
and becomes harder and more durable than stone and 
takes as good an edge. This epoch is termed the Bronze 
Age not very happily, since the first metal used in- 
dustrially to any extent was copper ; only by an accident 
in the areas where archaeology was first extensively 
studied Denmark, England and France was the 
copper already mixed with tin in the majority of early 
metal tools. The Bronze Age comes to an end when 
methods have been devised for extracting economically 
and working efficiently the much commoner metal, 
iron, which then replaces copper and its alloys in the 
manufacture of the crucial implements. 

Thanks to the Epics, the Greeks were naturally well 
aware that the Iron Age in which they dwelt had been 
preceded by one in which " men used weapons of bronze 


and wrought with bronze; for black iron was not". 
But it is Lucretius who first expressly states that bronze 
tools and weapons mark a stage intermediate between 
the age of stone implements and the Iron Age he knew. 
A Dane, Thomsen, revived or rediscovered Lucretius' 
division early last century. And the tripartite division 
was soon applied also to England, France, Germany 
and Italy. 

In these regions the system works admirably. A well- 
defined group of remains from tombs and villages can 
be assigned to a period of time when bronze was current 
but anterior to the adoption of iron. Yet in this sense 
the Bronze Age occupies a disproportionately short 
epoch in our series. The Stone Age had lasted a hundred 
thousand years or so; the Iron Age in Great Britain is 
already two thousand five hundred years old and seems 
as vigorous as ever. Against this the Bronze Age in 
Britain can only claim fifteen hundred or, on the most 
generous estimate, two thousand years. But, if in Nor- 
thern Europe bronze played a leading role in industry 
for a relatively short span of years, in the Aegean area, 
Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus valley, bronze, or 
at least copper, had been in regular use for fully twice 
as long. And those three or four thousand years wit- 
nessed man's first emergence from barbarism to civiliza- 
tion, the foundation of the first cities, the harnessing of 
animal motive power, the invention of writing, the 
establishment of consciously ordered government, the 
beginnings of science, the specialization and consequent 
perfection of the primary industrial arts, and the inaugu- 
ration of international trade and intercourse. Hence our 
Bronze Age volume makes up in wealth of incident for 
its modest bulk. 

All the vital elements of modern material culture are 


immediately rooted in the Bronze Age though their 
presuppositions may go back to the closing phase of the 
Stone Age (the so-called Neolithic Period). Nay more ; 
modern science and industry not only go back to the 
period when bronze was the dominant industrial metal, 
their beginnings were in a very real sense conditioned 
and inspired by the mere fact of the general employment 
of bronze or copper. It is worth while considering 
briefly the presuppositions of such a general use of 
metal in order to make the point plain. 

In the first place it implies a knowledge of the radical 
transformation of the physical properties of the substance 
by heat. The first smiths had discovered that a hard and 
intractable reddish substance, copper, became malleable 
and plastic on heating. You may even pour it like 
water into a vessel, but on cooling it becomes as hard as 
ever, assuming now the shape of the receptacle. Of 
course metallic copper occurs " native " in nature. By 
hammering, it may be shaped into imitations of the 
simpler forms of stone or bone tools. The Indians of 
Ohio employed the native metal in this way and treated 
it as a peculiarly workable sort of stone, hammering it 
without the aid of heat. But such an application of 
Stone Age processes to native copper does not mark the 
beginnings of the age of metals. There is no reason to 
suppose that it led directly thereto. The superiority of 
copper over stone or horn lies in its being fusible and 
malleable. It can be shaped by casting into forms the 
old materials could never assume, and the material in 
itself imposes no limit to the size of the object to be 
fashioned from it. A piece of stone or bone can only be 
shaped by chipping, grinding or cutting bits off it; 
your molten copper is completely plastic : you may use 
as little or as much as you want without impairing its 



solidity; you may even weld pieces together indissolubly 
by heating and hammering. 

The change in the properties of copper by heat is 
really very startling; it is distinctly more dramatic than 
the effect of baking upon potter's clay. By that process 
a vessel is certainly rendered durable and deprived of 
porosity. But the form and the texture are not super- 
ficially altered. Moreover the process is irreversible. 
It is a far greater leap from solid cold copper to the 
glowing liquid metal, yet the change can be produced 
as often as desired. To recognize the continuity under- 
lying such transformations, to appreciate their practical 
significance and to devise means for their control de- 
manded a power of inference and synthesis unusual in 
barbarians. The discoverers must implicitly make the 
distinction between substance and its appearances and 
so may justly claim a place among the founders of 

The effective utilization of the discoveries just ana- 
lysed involved the elaboration of a highly complicated 
technique through a series of inventions. The masters 
of these mysteries, the first smiths, were perhaps the 
first independent craftsmen. Any hunter or farmer 
could make a flint knife or arrow-head and grind out a 
stone axe-head in his spare time. His wife could stitch 
together robes of skins, even spin and weave, and mould 
and fire clay pots. The art of the smith was so complicated 
that prolonged apprenticeship was required. His labour 
was so long and exacting that it could not be performed 
just in odd moments of leisure; it was essentially a full- 
time job. And the smith's products were so important 
to the community that those engaged directly in food 
production must provide for his primary needs in addi- 
tion to their own. Among primitive peoples to-day the 


smith always does enjoy just such a privileged position 
as might be expected. In a Bronze Age village we often 
find one hut, but never more, that was obviously the 
smithy. In a Neolithic village on the contrary no certain 
traces of industrial specialization are often detectable. 

Even more startling and mysterious were the trans- 
mutations involved in the extraction of the metal. As 
we have noted, metallic copper occurs in nature, but 
with a few exceptions, notably in North America and 
South Africa, only in minimal quantities. In all other 
regions, before copper could come into general use, the 
metal must be extracted from its ores oxides, sulphides, 
silicates or carbonates by a chemical process termed 
reduction. Copper ores are crystalline or amorphous 
substances, greenish blue, red or grey in cplour, found 
in veins in old metamorphic or eruptive rocks. What 
could be more startling than the evocation from these 
greenish or grey stones, crystalline or powdery in tex- 
ture, of the tough malleable red metal 1 Here is a 
complete transmutation of the very nature of a material ! 
The process of reduction is indeed simple enough; heat 
in contact with charcoal will effect it. But it was a 
stupendous feat of generalization on the part of the 
barbarian to connect green crystalline stones with the 
tough red metal. The recognition of the underlying 
continuity marked the beginning of chemistry. 

The discovery of silver, lead and tin would be a 
natural corollary. The possessors of these secrets would 
easily gain credit for supernatural powers among bar- 
barians to whom all stones looked much alike. They 
would constitute a class or guild no less powerful than 
the smiths. It would be their task to search out and 
smelt the peculiar stones that would yield the coveted 


Copper ores in small quantities and of poor quality are 
very widely distributed. No doubt early man often ex- 
ploited lodes that are so poor or have been so thoroughly 
worked in the past that they are no longer mentioned in 
text-books on mining geology. And surface lodes were 
certainly once plentiful. But the time would soon come 
when such deposits had been exhausted and the prospec- 
tors must burrow underground for their ore. Mining 
for flint had been practised in the Stone Age, but it was 
a comparatively simple matter to dig pits and cut 
galleries in the chalk (where the good flints occur). 
Metal ores are embedded in very hard rock that can 
only be cut with difficulty to-day. The exploitation of 
copper on a large scale implied the solution of delicate 
problems in mining engineering^). The Bronze Age 
miners of Europe knew how to split rock by kindling 
fire against it and then throwing water on it; they had 
worked out methods of timbering subterranean galleries 
and had devised pulley-buckets for raising the ore. A 
curious sidelight on the unity of early metallurgy is 
provided by the discovery in all ancient mines that have 
been examined, whether in the Caucasus, Sinai, Austria, 
Spain or Britain, of grooved hammer-stones (i.e. stones 
girt with an artificial groove to receive the binding 
thongs with which they were hafted at the end of a 
split stick). 

A. further chemical discovery was involved in the 
advanced metallurgy of the Bronze Age. The addition 
to copper of a small proportion of tin reduces its melting- 
point, minimizes the danger of flaws from bubbles in 
casting and increases the hardness of the cold alloy. 
Here was another transmutation, the combination of 
two dissimilar substances to produce a third different 
from both. The alloy can be obtained either by smelting 


together the ores of tin and copper, or by melting tin 
(or tin ore) with copper. In the first instance the alloy 
may have been produced accidentally through the use 
of a copper ore with which tin was mixed. It is, for 
instance, curious that in Mesopotamia tin-bronze was 
comparatively common before 3000 B.C. but becomes 
rare after that date(n). A possible explanation is that 
the Sumerians had unconsciously been using a stanni- 
ferous ore the supplies of which gave out or were cut 
off by 3000. In any case it seems certain that by (hen 
they were deliberately trying to produce the superior 
metal and seeking substitutes, adding, for instance, lead, 
What is still more significant, by 2000 B.C. the ^mixture 
now universally admitted to give the best results, of one 
part tin to nine of copper, had already been recognized 
as the standard combination. That implies a great deal 
of critical examination i.e. experiment in the modern 
sense since there is nothing in nature to suggest those 
particular proportions. 

Experiments were also made with other alloys. In 
Hungary, the Baltic lands, and the Caucasus antimony 
was sometimes used as a substitute for tin. We have 
mentioned the possibility of a similar use of lead by the 
Sumerians. Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, has on 
the other hand not been found before the Iron Age. 

Thirdly, in addition to the physical and chemical 
discoveries just described, the general use of metal 
presupposes regular and extensive trade relations. Il 
is indeed true that copper ores are fairly widely distri- 
buted and that in early days poor lodes, now exhausted 
or at least uneconomical, were exploited. None the 
less the sources are definitely limited. The supplies are 
situated almost exclusively in mountainous regions ; the 
great civilizations of the Orient grew up in river valleys 


entirely lacking in any ores. Similarly the most populous 
centres of Neolithic culture in Europe, the loss lands 
of Central Europe, the Ukraine, and Denmark, are 
some way from the nearest copper lodes. Regular com- 
munications must be established between Egypt and 
Sinai, between Sumer and the Zagros or Caucasus, 
between Denmark and the Eastern Alps, Slovakia or 
England, before even copper could be regularly used 

The position is still worse when bronze and not pure 1 
copper is demanded; for now two foreign products are 
needed one of which is distinctly rare. Tin occurs 
certainly in the Malay Peninsula, South Africa, Khora- 
san, Tuscany, the Bohemian Erzgebirge, Western and 
Southern Spain, Southern France, Brittany and Corn- 
wall, probably also in the Caucasus and Syria and 
possibly even in Central Greece. Only in the Caucasus, 
Bohemia, Spain and Cornwall do copper lodes occur in 
any proximity to the tin ores. In most cases, therefore, 
the use of bronze woi^ld involve trade in two distinct 
metals that must be brought to a single meeting-point 
from different quarters. The extant evidence suggests, 
for instance, that Central European and Scandinavian 
bronze-workers drew their copper from Slovakia or the 
Austrian Alps and their tin from Bohemia or sometimes 

At the same time, within a given ethnic group the 
individual farmer must sacrifice his economic inde- 

1 Chemically pure copper could not have been prepared by the 
ancients and would have had no special value for them. In this book 
"pure" means " without intentional alloy". The accidental impurities 
found in all ancient copper are valuable as indicating the source of the 
ore used in the several regions. For instance, the high nickel content of 
early Sumerian and Indus copper suggests that both civilizations were 
drawing on the ores from Oman which show a high nickel content. 


pendence and the village its self-sufficiency as the price 
of the new material. Each Neolithic household could 
manufacture the requisite knives, axe-heads and awls 
of flint, stone or bone ; the Neolithic village need never 
look beyond its own domains for the necessary material 
nor did, save in the case of luxury articles such as 
shells. But metal tools the farmer must, as we have 
already seen, purchase from the expert, the village 
smith. And the latter must, except in exceptional 
circumstances, import his raw materials from outside 
the communal boundaries. This is perhaps the essential 
difference between the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. The 
most striking feature of a Neolithic community was its 
self-sufficiency. The sacrifice of that self-sufficiency was 
only possible when certain sociological and economic 
conditions had been fulfilled and brought in its train 
a series of other political and industrial changes. That 
in itself would explain why the Bronze Age did not 
begin simultaneously all over the world or even all over 
Europe. Peoples develop at unequal rates, and the 
effective demand for and use of metal is only possible 
when a certain stage of development has been reached. 
The development of internal and foreign commerce 
implied in a Bronze Age presupposes a certain degree 
of political stability. One of the economic foundations 
of the first Egyptian State was the exploitation of the 
copper lodes of Sinai as a State enterprise by periodical 
expeditions supported by the royal armies. Similarly 
trade must go hand in hand with improvement in the 
means of communication. The wheeled car and the 
sailing ship appear in the Ancient East as heralds of 
the age of metals. The same commercial needs must at 
least have given an impulse to the development of 
writing and seal-cutting. Letters and contracts dealing 


with trade bulk largely in any collection of Babylonian 
documents. And seals served in place of a signature 
(for few could master the ancient scripts) as well as to 
put a tabu upon the object sealed. 

The general propositions just enunciated involve some 
archaeological corollaries specially germane to the sub- 
ject of this book. The discoveries and inventions implicit 
in metal-working are so abstruse and complex that 
independent origin at several points in the Old World 
at any rate is excluded as fantastically improbable; 
knowledge of the essential techniques must, that is to 
say, have been diffused from some centre. The uni- 
formity of processes throughout the Ancient East and 
Europe at the dawn of the Bronze Age affords some 
positive justification for the diffusionist assumption (7). 
It is, indeed, quite likely that miners and smiths con- 
stituted distinct crafts or even castes, membership of 
which implied initiation but conferred some degree of 
immunity from the bondage of tribal custom. We must 
then envisage the spread of the knowledge of metal as 
a dual process: on the one hand we should expect a 
distribution of metal objects by trade comparable to the 
spread of European firearms among contemporary 
savages. The diffusion of metallurgical knowledge, on 
the other hand, must be associated with an actual spread 
of initiates either as prospectors voyaging in quest of 
ore, or as perambulating smiths seeking their fortunes 
by plying their trade among barbarians, or as slaves or 
others who have secured initiation in the original centre 
or one of its offshoots, returning home. These two 
processes must be kept distinct. The first may produce 
a chalcolithic age in a given region; i.e. a few metal 
objects may be imported and used side by side with 
native tools of stone and imitated locally in flint or bone. 


A true Bronze Age can only arise with the advent of 
metallurgists or smiths. 

Even so, the substitution of metal for stone tools and 
weapons must inevitably be a gradual process. It will 
take a long period of education and considerable com- 
mercial organization before the peasant farmer finds it 
cheaper to buy, say a bronze sickle, than to make one at 
home out of flint. A long interval will accordingly elapse 
after the introduction of bronze before it has finally 
ousted stone. So in Egypt agricultural implements 
continued to be made out of flint down to the New 
Kingdom or for nearly two thousand years after metal 
had become reasonably common. In Bronze Age settle- 
ments and graves in Europe too even well-made stone 
axe-heads (celts) occur. Not all stone tools therefore are 
Neolithic, nor is their presence incompatible with a 
Bronze Age date. 

We must equally beware of attaching too great im- 
portance to the use of pure copper. A regular supply of 
tin involves, as we have seen, more extensive commercial 
relations than the corresponding supply of copper. The 
advantages of bronze would not in all circumstances 
counterbalance its much higher price. During the 
third millennium pure copper was largely used in 
Mesopotamia though bronze was known even before 
3000 B.C., in Egypt only copper was employed, and in 
the Aegean bronze was rare and generally poor in tin 
(i.e. with less than the standard 10 per cent.). In continen- 
tal Europe a large number of tools and weapons of pure 
copper may be assigned to a period anterior to the 
local Bronze Age on account of their form and context. 
This period may be justly styled a " Copper Age" or 
"the Copper Age" with some qualification, such as "in 
Hungary", At the same time, there are other objects of 


pure copper or very poor bronze that none the less 
belong to an advanced phase of the local Bronze Age, 
The negative result of analysis in this case does not 
indicate high antiquity but merely an interruption of the 
tin supply in the region where the objects were cast 
an historical event explicable in economic or political 

Again it is obvious that the regular use of metal would 
not begin simultaneously everywhere. The mystery can 
only be imparted to those in contact with its masters. It 
will radiate slowly from the centre. It will reach only 
those who have something to offer the smith or the 
prospector; these can utilize their knowledge only in 
so far as they control supplies of ore or can obtain the 
requisite raw material by trade or political action. 
'Actually metallurgy was being practised in Mesopo- 
tamia and Egypt during the fourth millennium B.C., at 
the beginning of the third it had been implanted in the 
Aegean area whence it was diffused up the Danube 
valley and along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. 
The Bronze Age in Bohemia and Britain begins about 
2000 B.C., in Denmark about 1600, in Siberia perhaps 
six centuries later. In the Pacific islands it never began 
at all. 

The earlier stages of this process in which the actual 
discovery of metallurgy took place lie outside the scope 
of this book, which is devoted primarily to the Bronze 
Age of North-western and Central Europe. Nothing 
comparable to the extraordinary civilizations that had 
grown up by 3000 B.C. in the valleys of the Nile, the 
Tigris-Euphrates and the Indus existed north of the 
Alps till Caesar came with his legionaries. No descrip- 
tion of the Oriental cultures and no sketch of their rise 
could usefully be compressed within the compass of 


these pages. But we ask our readers to remember, when 
picturing the lives of their barbarian ancestors who 
reared round barrows on the Downs and lived in hut- 
circles on the moors, that the Royal Tombs of Ur had 
long been forgotten, and the Pyramids were already 
hoary with age. The great temples of Karnak and the 
palaces of Knossos are roughly contemporary with our 
stone circles, and few, if any, of our hill forts can com- 
pare in age even with the acropolis of Mycenae. But 
though a worthy description is impracticable here, the 
Oriental and East Mediterranean civilizations exercised 
such a profound influence on Bronze Age Europe, in- 
spiring and moulding her metallurgical traditions, that 
their authors must be at least named if the sequel is to 
be intelligible. Moreover, the chronology of illiterate 
Europe rests entirely upon archaeological synchronisms 
with cultural phases dated by the written records of 
Egypt and Sumer. 

On the banks of the Nile in Upper Egypt(g) a series 
of graves, arrangeable by typological 1 study in a regular 
sequence, reveals the progress in industries and arts of 
peasant communities down to the time, about 3400 
3100 B.C., when a king of Upper Egypt, traditionally 
known as Menes, united the whole land under a single 
sceptre. The record begins at a remote period, termed 
the Badarian (after a site near Assiout(s)) when enough 
rain still fell in Upper Egypt for big trees to grow 
where now all is sand. That implies a climatic regime 
approximating to that ruling in North Africa during the 
European Ice Age, when the great belt of heavy cold 
air (termed an arctic anticyclone) over our glaciers 
diverted southward the rain-bearing Atlantic squalls 
(cyclones). We are therefore at latest in what in Europe 
1 Typology as used here is defined on p. 53 below. 


would be the Mesolithic Age. But the Badarian villagers 
on the Nile were already farmers enjoying a culture 
comparable to that of the fellahin to-day: they could 
make beautiful pots, grind vases out of hard stone, 
weave linen, plait baskets, flake flint superbly, put a 
glaze on stone beads and carve ivory into combs, pins 
and figurines. They were also able to obtain shells from 
the Red Sea and malachite, probably from Sinai, by 
some sort of trade. They were even acquainted with 
metallic copper since beads and a pin of the metal have 
been found in their graves. The Badarians had been 
accustomed to paint their eyes with malachite, a carbon- 
ate of copper. The metal might have been discovered by 
the reduction of a little of this paint dropped on to the 
glowing ashes of a hearth. Still it would not be correct 
to say that the Badarians were metallurgists or lived in 
a copper age. 

The same remark is true of the succeeding period, 
termed Early Predynastic or Amratian, The communi- 
ties are now bigger, trade relations have been extended 
so that even lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, obsidian 
from Armenia or Melos, coniferous woods from Syria 
and gold from Nubia were available. Even copper 
objects are more numerous than before, but all are of 
perfectly simple forms that might easily have been ob- 
tained by cold working in imitation of bone and flint 

Genuinely metallic types that presuppose a know- 
ledge of casting are first found late in the third phase, 
termed Middle Predynastic or Gerzean. But now 
changes in pottery, dress and weapons denote the cul- 
tural subjugation of Upper Egypt to a new power, 
immediately centred in the unexplored Delta but very 
possibly Asiatic in origin. The metal objects of the 


period, that are indeed very sparse, may be products 
of a school of metallurgy created by the (unknown) 
Early Predynastic inhabitants of Lower Egypt or 
directly inspired by some external centre in Asia. Some 
elements in Middle Predynastic culture certainly came 
from the latter quartef . In any case the clash of native 
African and Asiatic traditions caused a general spurt 
in culture, mirrored in progress and specialization in 
all the arts. At the same time accumulation of wealth 
and its concentration in individual hands are marked 
by the elaboration of some tombs and an increasing 
range in the comparative wealth of the grave goods. 

In the Late Predynastic or Semainian phase the dual 
traditions traceable in Middle Predynastic times were 
fused. Moreover continued accumulation of wealth 
in a country, bereft of ore, building stone and timber, 
rendered necessary and possible an extension and regu- 
larization of trade, till Egypt was at last in contact 
with another civilization that had grown up in the 
Tigris-Euphrates valley. Concomitantly industry was 
further specialized to the great benefit of most crafts, 
though the pots of this period, being regular factory 
products, are far less attractive than the more individual 
creations of earlier times. Some favourably situated 
villages grew into real towns, and the chief of one 
of them, Abydos, that commanded one main caravan 
route to the Red Sea and the East, was eventually able 
to master the whole land to the Mediterranean coasts, 
founding what is termed the First Dynasty (about 
3100 B.C.). 

From this point the written record supplements the 
archaeological. We see the royal arms extended to the 
copper mines of Sinai and then the colonization of 
Byblos in North Syria to secure control of the cedars of 


Lebanon. Therewith we arrive at the Old Kingdom, 
Dynasties III to VI, which witnessed the building of the 
Pyramids, but eventually collapsed into anarchy through 
internal exhaustion and Asiatic aggression. 

~TKe country rose again under the Middle Kingdom, 
Dynasties XI-XIII (2000-1780 B.C.), only to collapse 
once more beneath the onslaught of the barbarian in- 
vaders known as the Hyksos. 

The greatest period in Egyptian history followed the 
national revolt against the invaders led by the Seven- 
teenth Dynasty and completed under the Eighteenth 
(beginning 1580 B.C.). The Thothmes reconquer Syria 
and Palestine; the Amenhoteps conduct diplomacy in 
quite modern style with the kings of Babylonia, Assyria 
and the Cappadocian Hittites, In alliance with the 
latter the Rameses repel the assaults of the Philistines 
and the Sea-Peoples from the North, some of whom at 
least were Europeans. But eventually these barbarians 
wrecked the Empire and incidentally ended the Bronze 
Age in the Near East. 

No such clear record is yet available of the rise of 
civilization in Mesopotamia. The ancient records name 
kings reigning for fabulous years before what the 
Sumer ians termed the Flood . Remains of the pr ediluvian 
civilization have in fact recently come to light at Ur and 
aPUbaid in Sumer and at Kish farther north, covered 
thickly by the clay left by a huge inundationdo. They 
disclose already highly civilized communities living in 
towns or at least large villages. The splendid painted 
pottery from these levels connects the oldest culture of 
the Mesopotamian plain with a great province covering 
the whole Iranian plateau and extending eastward perhaps 
to the Indus. Its best known representative is the "first 
city" at Susa in Elamdo). The prediluvian culturecs), 


of unknown antiquity and antecedents, boasted all the 
arts of Early Predynastic Egypt with the addition of 
mature metallurgy. Copper was not only known at 
Susa I, it was freely used for axe-heads and even mirrors 
fashioned by casting. 

In Mesopotamia, upon the eight feet of sterile clay 
left by the Flood above the prediluvian houses, stand 
the foundations of the oldest historical cities, built by a 
literate people known to us as Sumerians. These folk, 
distinguished by language and dress, lived in City 
States, normally autonomous but each striving for, and 
sometimes securing, the mastery over all the rest. Palaces 
and graves recently uncovered at Kish reveal the ad- 
vanced civilization ruling under the first dynasty to attain 
to hegemony after the Flood, Even more startling are 
the Royal Tombs recently explored at Ur and perhaps 
in some cases even older than the historical First Dynasty 
of Ur, dated round about 3100 B.C. By that date, in 
any case, the Sumerians enjoyed a settled polity and had 
attained a level of industrial skill far ahead of First 
Dynasty Egypt. In particular they used metals to an 
extent and with a skill never dreamed of on the Nile till 
New Kingdom times. Egypt possessed abundant sup- 
plies of good flint, and that material was used there 
exclusively in agriculture and very generally by the 
poorer classes as a whole till quite late. The alluvial 
plain of Mesopotamia had nothing similar to offer its 
occupants and so, the raw material for cutting tools 
having to be imported in any case, the durable copper 
really came cheaper than flint. That implied a depend- 
ence on foreign trade even greater than Egypt's. The 
variety of exotic substances found in Sumerian graves and 
above all the discovery of seals, actually manufactured 
in distant India, illustrate the success with which that need 


was met. Conversely, while most distinctive Egyptian 
metal types are peculiar to the Nile valley, Sumerian 
forms lie at the base of South Russian and Central 
European metallurgy. 

The early Sumerian period, thus inaugurated, is 
often termed pre-Sargonic; for a well-defined era ends 
when a Semitic prince, whose name has been simplified 
to Sargon, made his city, Akkad or Agad, supreme 
throughout Mesopotamia. He is said even to have 
reached the Mediterranean. After the collapse of his 
empire, civilization largely stagnated in Iraq; in par- 
ticular no fresh metal types were created. Historically a 
new era is marked by the rise of Babylon to the hegemony 
under Hammurabi's dynasty (First Dynasty of Babylon, 
{ circa 2 100 B.C.). Thereafter Babylon remained the politi- 
cal capital of an united Babylonia for close on fifteen 
hundred years. 

West of the "prediluvian" cultural domain began a 
province, centred in Anatolia and once perhaps em- 
bracing Crete, characterized by dark-faced carboniferous 
pots imitating gourd vessels. Round about 3000 B.C. 
the secrets of metallurgy began to reach this area rich 
in ores, probably from Mesopotamia. About the same 
time the local potter commenced producing a red ware 
by baking his pots over a clear fire in an oxidizing 
atmosphere. One branch of this culture then occupied 
Cyprus (18), attracted no doubt by the metal wealth of 
the island that has given its name to copper. Another 
branch pushed into Thrace and Macedonia. The most 
interesting, however, developed a higher civilization on 
the hill of Hissarlik(3), a point on the Dardanelles that 
commanded at once the sea ways from the Aegean to 
the Black Sea, the Danube and the Caucasus and the 
terminus of the land route from Mesopotamia across 


Asia Minor with its transmarine extensions into Thrace, 
Macedonia and Central Europe. Out of a large village 1 
(known as Troy I) at this strategic point there arose 
during the third millennium an important town termed 
Troy II on whose ruins the Homeric Troy (Troy VI) 
was later to rise. 

The citadel of Troy II was girt with a strong wall of 
stone surmounted by brick battlements. Within stood 
palatial buildings of the so-called megaron 1 type. The 
citadel and its encircling walls were rebuilt twice so that 
three structural phases are recognizable. The last of 
these probably belongs already to Middle Aegean times 
(see p. 21). Shortly after 2000 B.C. the city was razed 
to the ground, but its defenders had found time to bury 
many of their treasures. The latter escaped the eyes of 
the invaders and were first rediscovered by H. Schlie- 
mann between A.D. 1873 an d 1879. Our knowledge of 
Trojan metallurgy is almost entirely derived from these 
hoards (17) which should belong to what is called the 
Middle Aegean Period. After the sack the site was occu- 
pied only by minor villages till, towards the middle of 
the sixteenth century B.C., a new and larger city arose, the 
Homeric Troy that the Achaeans sacked about 1200 B.C. 

Metal-using civilization impinged upon Crete and 
the Aegean islands from two quarters, Anatolia-Syria 
and Egypt. Crete da) had already been occupied in 
Neolithic times by people of Anatolian affinities. The 
metal-using civilization termed Minoan begins rather 
before 3000 B.C. with the advent of Nilotic immigrants, 
possibly refugees flying from Menes when he conquered 
the Delta. At the same time powerful influences and 
very possibly immigrants from the East reached the 

1 A "megaron" is essentially a long hall with a central hearth, 
preceded by a pillared porch on the short side. 



island, and Cretan metallurgy is largely based upon 
Asiatic traditions. The life of the Minoan civilization 
is divided into three main periods. Early, Middle and 
Late Minoan (abbreviated E.M., M.M. and L.M. 
respectively) each in turn subdivided into three phases 
distinguished by the Roman numerals I, II, or III. 

Already in Early Minoan times Crete enjoyed a 
genuine urban civilization. The people lived largely by 
maritime trade, even building their towns on barren 
islets or headlands, quite unsuited to farmers but affording 
excellent harbours. 

During the same period the stoney little islands of the 
Aegean (Cyclades), that had offered no sustenance to 
Neolithic peasantsdo) but were rich in copper, emery, 
marble, or obsidian, and afforded convenient halting- 
places on voyages across the Aegean, were occupied by 
prospectors from Anatolia. On them grew up a flourishing 
maritime culture termed Early Cycladic(i6>. Its monu- 
ments, strongholds girt with walls of stone and graves of 
varied form, suggest a less refined and less pacific 
civilization than the Minoan, but one in which metal- 
lurgy flourished and where distinctive metal types were 
created. The islanders were in regular commercial 
contact with Crete, Troy and mainland Greece. 

In the latter area an older layer of Neolithic peasants 
was overlaid by groups of more industrial and mercantile 
immigrants, allied to the islanders and to the Macedo- 
nian wing of the Anatolians. These new-comers occupied 
principally seaports and sites on land trade routes (14) 
extending as far west as Levkasds). Their culture is 
known as Early Helladic and in respect of metallurgy 
was mainly dependent upon Troy and the Cyclades, 
though the use of a glazed paint was probably derived 
from Crete. 


The Minoan, Cycladic and Helladic cultures, sharing 
in a common trade, were all in constant intercommuni- 
cation. Hence it is possible to correlate the several 
stages of culture in each area and to extend the Minoan 
system to the whole Aegean world. Crete in particular, 
being in regular touch with Egypt, the phases of Aegean 
culture may be approximately dated in terms of solar 
years. The period just surveyed, termed Early Aegean, 
extends from about 3100 to 2100 B.C. On the islands 
and in mainland Greece the beginning of the Middle 
Aegean period is not very well defined, since no radical 
changes took place before Middle Aegean II timesoa). 

The Middle Minoan period in Crete, on the contrary, 
witnessed the concentration of power and wealth in the 
hands of princes ruling in the centre of the island 
commanding the great road that linked the sea-routes 
from Egypt with those to Greece and the Black Sea. 
By M.M. II, Knossos, near the northern terminal of the 
road, was the undisputed capital of the island. Here 
rose frescoed palaces, often destroyed by seismic or 
political cataclysms, but continually resuscitated down 
to L.M. III. Sir Arthur Evans has rediscovered 
Homer's broad Knossos, the seat of Minos, and the 
" dancing-ground " laid out by Daedalus. And frescoes 
on the palace walls depict the ritual games of bull- 
grappling that inspired the legend of the Minotaur. 

Towards M.M. II times Crete had so far mono- 
polized Aegean trade that the Cyclades' prosperity 
declined and many islands were deserted. At the same 
time, Middle Helladic II 1 , a new folk, conveniently, if 

1 Numbering the phase according to the contemporary Cretan periods. 
Messrs Wace and Blegen, owing to the absence of any sharp break at a 
point contemporary with the Cretan M.M. I, prefer to term this phase 
M.H. I, while admitting its contemporaneity with M.M. II. 


incorrectly, termed Minyans, gained the upper hand 
on the Greek mainland and adjacent islands from Aegina 
to Levkas. They were more martial and less industrial 
than their Early Helladic predecessors, but far from 

Then towards 1600 B.C, a Minoan prince gained a 
footing at Mycenae on the Peloponnese. His remains and 
those of his family were found by H. Schliemann in the 
famous Shaft Graves, dug on the slope of the acropolis 
and included within the city walls. Sir Arthur Evans 
has, however, adduced convincing grounds for believing 
that the prince's body had originally reposed in the 
great beehive tomb, built into the hillside outside the 
walls and known since the days of Pausanias as the 
Treasury of Atreus, a tomb that Mr Wace dates some 
three centuries later (L.H. Ill) and attributes to the 
last monarch of a different dynasty, 

In L.M. I and II Crete attained the zenith of her 
power, the most grandiose phase of the palace of Knossos 
belonging to L.M. II. During the same period the 
Minoan civilization was extended to the mainland. A 
whole series of stately beehive tombs along the western 
coasts and at the head of gulfs facing south as far as 
Volo in Thessaly and palaces adorned with frescoes in 
Minoan style mark the seats of the Cretan dynasts. 

This imperialist expansion overtaxed the island's 
strength. At the beginning of L.M. Ill Knossos and 
the other palaces were sacked and not rebuilt, though 
the towns continued to flourish. The mainland, however, 
progressed. Mycenae was now the capital of the Aegean 
world as in Homer's lays. She was girt with a megalithic 
wall of "Cyclopean" masonry as were Tiryns, Athens 
and other citadels within which rose palaces of the 
megaron plan, very different architecturally from the 


Cretan, though decked with frescoes of Minoan tech- 
nique. A provincial variant of the Minoan culture, 
termed Late Mycenaean, ruled all over the mainland 
and extended to many of the islands and even Cyprus. 
Trade was more extensive than ever, and even Myc$- 
naean vases were exported to Anatolia, Syria, Palestine;" 
Egypt and Sicily. But about 12506.0., when the 
Egyptian records are already preoccupied with "unrest 
among the Isles of the Sea", these peaceful relations 
were broken off. The Mycenaean culture in a decadent 
form, L.M. Ill b, however, persisted for a couple of 
centuries and even spread to Macedonia. During this 
period we find northern types of sword and other 
indications of influences from beyond the Balkans. In 
Macedonia even a barbaric pottery, apparently of 
Hungarian antecedents, intrudes in and above the last 
ruins of the plundered Mycenaean settlements. 

The Iron Age in the Aegean begins about this point 
without any complete break with late Mycenaean tradi- 
tions, at least in Southern Greece and Crete. The metal 
that now replaced bronze in the manufacture of cutting 
implements had been used occasionally for that purpose 
even in the fourteenth century. The Hittite records 
show that it was then being manufactured in Kizwadana, 
an unidentified locality under the control of the Cappa- 
docian Hittites. By L.M. Ill b times there are traces 
of iron-working in Macedonia, and soon after 1200 B.C. 
it was generally practised in Asia Minor and then in 
Crete and Greece. 

Having now surveyed the civilized world of the 
Ancient East, we can conclude this chapter with a 
glance at the question, "Where did the revolutionary 
discovery of metallurgy originate?" It is, of course, 
theoretically possible that the properties of copper were 


independently realized in Egypt and Hither Asia, or 
even in illiterate Spain and Hungary, and that the 
barbarians of Cornwall and Bohemia spontaneously hit 
upon the alloy, known before 3000 B.C. in Sumer and 
India. Practically, in the case of the Old World where 
the first metal-using civilizations had such wide foreign 
relations and were bound together by so many common 
traits, no one, unprejudiced by the passions evoked by 
a perverse diffusionism, will suggest that all the complex 
processes involved were elaborated separately at two or 
more comparatively adjacent points in Eurasia. Really 
the question resolves itself into one of the comparative 
claims of Egypt and the Asiatic cultural province desig- 
nated "prediluvian". 

It must be admitted and indeed insisted that by 
3000 B.C. Egyptian and Sumerian metallurgy consti- 
tuted two distinct schools. Any competent archaeologist 
could distinguish, as our Chapter in will show, between 
a proto-dynastic Egyptian celt, dagger or spear-head 
and an equally early Sumerian specimen, to say nothing 
of more specialized types such as pins or earrings. But 
as we go back, the differences tend to vanish. 

In the Nile valley the conditions for the rise of 
metallurgy were admittedly fulfilled, even though no 
supplies of ore were available locally (21). The copper 
objects from Badarian and Early Predynastic graves, the 
oldest samples of metal to which any sort of date can be 
assigned, strongly suggest that the copper ore used as 
eye-paint was in fact there reduced to the metallic state 
and the product utilized. Yet nothing from these 
periods proves that the process was applied deliberately 
or systematically, still less that the properties of metal 
were realized or employeddo). Only in Middle Pre- 
dynastic times do we meet implements of any size or of 


a distinctively metallic character the results of casting 
in a mould. And even these are rare and sporadic. 
Moreover, in the Middle Predynastic culture we en- 
counter types, foreign to the earlier periods but common 
at all times in Hither Asia. I may instance the pear- 
shaped stone mace-head that replaces the Early Pre- 
dynastic disk-shaped type, spouted vases and dark-on- 
light vase-painting. Even under the early dynasties, 
when metallurgy was fully understood and quite indi- 
vidual types were created, flint remained in common use 
for reasons already explained. 

Now Egypt is exceptionally favoured from the ex- 
cavator's point of view. It has long enjoyed a civilized 
government; a delightful winter climate makes it the 
resort of the wealthy of all Europe. The mighty stone 
monuments that geographical circumstances enabled 
the ancient Egyptians to erect and that climatic con- 
ditions have conspired to preserve, have inspired the 
less stupid of such visitors to serious excavations as a 
diversion and encouraged the rest to subsidize profes- 
sional diggers. Mesopotamia, on the other hand, remote, 
inhospitable winter and summer, and long misruled by 
a corrupt Old Turkey, has only been seriously explored 
during the last ten years. Persia, even more inaccessible 
and climatically forbidding, is closed to excavation by a 
monopoly granted to an incompetent and bankrupt 
nation. And in India the British Government was con- 
tent to allow the ruins of ancient cities to be used as 
ballast for railway lines. Under these circumstances it 
is difficult to compare the prediluvian culture with the 
predynastic or to gauge its origin, extent and antiquity. 
Still its highland home is rich in metals including even 
tin. And as far back as we can trace the culture, it was 
associated with genuinely metallic and often highly 


developed copper implements. Descending to the alluvial 
plain, its authors would find copper cheaper to import 
than flint. 

Early Sumerian metallurgy, which seems descended 
directly from the prediluvian, was certainly superior to 
the contemporary Egyptian both in extent and in the 
quality of its products. For example, in Sumer bronze 
was known and core-casting regularly employed. The 
marked superiority of Sumerian metallurgy over the 
Egyptian, at the first moment when contemporary ob- 
jects from the two countries can be compared, affords 
some presumption in favour of the higher antiquity of 
the Asiatic industry. The metal work of Middle Pre- 
dynastic Egypt would in that case be inspired from Asia. 
The force of this argument is, however, somewhat 
diminished by persistent uncertainties as to the precise 
dates of the First Dynasties in Egypt and Ur respectively 
and by the fact that after the Second Dynasty Egyptian 
civilization was on the whole, though not in metallurgy, 
ahead of Sumerian. The latter objection is to some 
extent discounted when we recall that the political 
unification of Egypt placed the labour power of the 
whole population at the disposal of Pharaoh for the 
execution of monumental works, that facilities for ob- 
taining stone were great and the conditions of the soil 
more favourable to the preservation of delicate articles. 
It must be recalled that Egypt was still without wheeled 
vehicles though she could replace by magic images the 
living victims immolated in the oldest Sumerian tombs. 

Approaching the question in another way, we shall 
find in the sequel that the majority of European metal 
types, referable specifically to one or other of the Oriental 
groups, go back quite unambiguously to prediluvian or 
Sumerian models. Still most daggers in Western and 


Central Europe are inspired by peculiarly Egyptian 
forms, traceable back to Middle Predynastic times. As 
all specialized early dynastic forms are confined to Egypt, 
the diffusion of the dagger type from the Nile must go 
back to Middle Predynastic times. If Egypt was 
diffusing metallurgical knowledge so early, the value 
of the numerical preponderance of diffused Sumerian 
types as evidence for the original centre of metallurgy is 
weakened. And so the question must be left open. 




ADETAILED account of the metallurgical processes em- 
JL\ ployed in antiquity must be relegated to technical 
works, but a short description of some aspects thereof is 
desirable both to justify the assertions of the first chapter 
and to make intelligible the sequel. As to mining, we 
have already remarked that at first weathered surface 
deposits of ore, even if poor, were exploited. In the case 
of tin, supplies could be obtained from alluvial deposits 
by washing as with gold. However, it is certain that 
even in Europe before the end of the Bronze Age the 
veins of ore were followed underground by means of 
shafts and galleries many of which are well preserved 
in the Austrian Alps (19). 

The process of smelting, particularly in the case of sur- 
face ores, consisting of oxides, silicates or carbonates 
the so-called oxidized ores was comparatively simple. 
Heating with carbon (charcoal) suffices to effect the 
reduction and liberate the metallic copper. In the case 
of some of the copper ores, found principally in deeper 
workings, a preliminary roasting may be necessary to 
produce artificially an oxidized ore. The reduction could 
be quite well effected in a shallow clay-lined pit such as 
was used in Japan last century (20), Ignited charcoal is 
placed on the floor of the pit, and a conical pile of char- 
coal and ore in alternate layers is heaped up over it, A 
blast is applied through a clay nozzle when the mass 
will be reduced in about an hour. The metal settles to 


the bottom of the hole. The slag and unburnt char- 
coal is thereupon raked off, and the metal dragged out 
in lumps when on the point of solidifying. The cakes of 
raw metal from European "founders' hoards' 1 display 
under the microscope the peculiar structure caused by 
breaking the metal when it was thus on the point of 
solidifying. In the Tyrol remains of more elaborate 
furnaces built into the hillside have been found. 

Tin and lead can be obtained by the same methods 
though the loss from volatilization is considerable. Lead 
ores were probably valued at first for the silver they 
contain. To purify the precious metal the process termed 
cupellation must have been applied. The silver-lead 
amalgam produced by simple reduction is strongly heated 
in a blast of air whereby the lead is oxidized, the metallic 
silver remaining at the bottom of the furnace or crucible. 

For the production of the important alloy, bronze, 
two processes were available. The ores of copper and 
tin might be smelted together or the two metals fused 
together. The former process may have been first em- 
ployed. In the true Bronze Age, however, the extant 
evidence points to a deliberate mixture of the two metals. 
Another alloy used in antiquity was electrum, consisting 
approximately of two parts gold ancT oneTpart silver. It 
was used in Troy, the Caucasus, Mesopotamia and 
Hungary. Since the native gold of Transylvania, Pacto- 
lus and elsewhere is strongly argentiferous, electrum 
may well be a natural alloy. 

The raw metal from the smelters was probably not 
generally cast into ingots. The material from the bottom 
of the furnaces was rather broken up into cakes of 
convenient size before it had set hard. However, ingots 
were sometimes at least cast. From Cyprus and Crete 
we have a number of ingots of copper, probably Cypriote, 


cast in the form of a Minoan double-axe and sometimes 
stamped with a character of the Minoan script. Similar 
ingots are depicted among the tribute brought to 
Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaohs, and one has been found 
in Sardinia. In Central Europe copper was apparently 
traded in the form of neck-rings or torques. Hoards 
consisting exclusively of such torques, made of pure 
copper, have been unearthed particularly between the 
tin-producing region of Bohemia and the copper lodes 
of Slovakia and the Alps (41 ). 


The operations of the smith need more detailed 
description to enable us to understand the peculiarities 
of the metal objects that constitute such prominent 
documents on Bronze Age civilization. The raw metal 
was first melted in crucibles of clay. In Egypt these 
crucibles, to judge by the tomb paintings, were heated 
over an open fire. Actual crucibles have been found in 
European sites. But these exhibit the effects of heat 
only round the rim (20) and on the inside, so that we must 
assume the use of a furnace similar to that employed in 
Japan last century. The clay crucible was placed in a 
hollow packed with charcoal; sticks of ignited charcoal 
were laid upon it and these covered with lumps of 
copper. On the application of a blast the metal would 
melt and drip into the crucible. In either case a blast 
was needed to secure adequate heat so that the smith 
must have assistants. In Egypt down to the New King- 
dom human lungs provided the current of air, and we 
see parties of youths sitting by the furnace and blowing 
down pipes! Thereafter leather bellows are depicted. The 
wind was conducted into the fire through a clay nozzle. 
Such blast pines are reeularlv found in European 


3 1 


Fig. i. (i) Nilotic smith at work. 

(2) Clay nozzle from pile-village of Morigen, Switzerland (after 


(3) Egyptian goldsmiths (after de Morgan). 


villages of the Late Bronze Age, notably the Swiss 
lake-dwellings (100), Velem Szent Vid and other industrial 
settlements in Hungary (Fig. i, no. 2). 

Simple objects, flat on one face, can be cast by pouring 
the molten metal into a form, hollowed out in the ground 
or carved on a block of stone (s). This is known as the 
open hearth process. A number of stone moulds for 
casting simple objects such as flat celts have been found 
in Great Britain and o'ther countries. Moulds for flat 
celts are peculiarly common in Scotland (Fig. 2, no. i). 

Usually a more elaborate sort of mould was required. 
Even for daggers (except the most primitive flat type), 
spear-heads and palstaves a mould in at least two pieces 
must be employed (s). A number of specimens have 
come down to us from the Middle and Late Bronze Age 
of Europe (Fig. 2, no. 2). The usual procedure was 
to take two corresponding pieces of stone, generally 
schist or sandstone, carefully rubbed flat and smooth on 
one face each, and to carve on each piece the negative 
outline of half the desired object. By combining the 
two a " valve mould " is obtained whose internal hollow 
is the exact negative of the object to be manufactured. 
Of course it is essential to secure an exact correspondence 
between the two valves and a stable union. That might 
be ensured by dowelling the two halves together, but 
often it was thought sufficient just to lash the two pieces 
together; ribs are sometimes cut in the back of the 
mould to give the thongs a better purchase. 

When the valves have been fitted together liquid 
metal is poured in through a channel with a funnel-like 
mouth, specially cut for it in the mould. At least in the 
case of large objects, like rapier blades, fine capillaries 
running from the internal hollow to the edge must be 
cut to allow the air to escape from the enclosed space. 









Similar capillaries, in this case radiating from the inlet 
tube like veins, are needed to allow the liquid metal to 
spread evenly in casting in a valve mould large thin 
plates. As the two valves never fitted exactly, a little 
of the liquid metal will have spread into the join between 
the two faces. This appears on the product as a thin 
ridge or "seam" (Gussnaht) all round which, together 
with the spur or "fount" left by the metal remaining 
in the inlet channel, must be subsequently removed by 
hammering and rubbing with sand. Some traces of the 
seam are generally to be found on rough or rejected 
metal tools. Among the latter are to be seen castings 
spoilt through the slipping of the valves during the 
process. The little ridges left by the vein-like capillaries 
that served to ensure the rapid spread of the metal over 
a thin surface might be retained as decorative elements 
instead of being rubbed away. 

More complicated moulds were needed for tools with 
a socket for the shaft. Axe-heads of the modern type 
with a shaft-hole could be produced with a two-valve 
mould if a clay core was introduced where the shaft-hole 
was to come. It was sufficient to provide a depression 
at the bottom of the mould to keep the core in position. 
There is a mould for a double-axe from Troy VI that 
illustrates the arrangement. The manufacture of an 
implement like a socketed spear-head or a socketed celt, 
where the tube for the shaft follows the long axis of the 
artifact and is essentially closed at one end, is more 
difficult; for the metal must flow all round the core that 
represents the socket. The core has therefore to be 
suspended from its upper end so that the metal can pass 
under it as well as round it. For other objects three- or 
four-piece moulds must have been used. None such 
have actually survived, but the position of the seams or 


flaws due to the slipping of one part of the mould show 
how the several valves were arranged. Looped buttons 
can be cast in a tripartite mould, one piece containing 
the negative of the button top while two pieces with 
the join at right angles to the face of the first section 
provided the loop (Fig. 2, no. 5). Chains composed 
of closed annular links required four valves joining 

Nevertheless, except for quite simple implements, 
stone or metal moulds were seldom used for the actual 
casting. This was carried out rather by the cire perdue 
(verlorener Form) process. The procedure is as follows. 
A wax model of the desired object is first prepared.; 
This is then dipped in a bath of clay of creamy con- 
sistency so that it becomes coated all over with an exactly 
fitting skin of clay which is allowed to dry on it. The 
whole is then enveloped in thicker clay to protect it. 
When this too has dried, the whole is heated so that the 
wax. melts and runs out through an aperture left for the 
purpose. Liquid metal is poured by the same channel 
into the vacuum created. When the metal has cooled, 
the clay of the mould must of course be broken to allow 
of the extraction of the casting. Each mould can thus 
serve for one casting only. Hence the archaeological 
evidence for the use of the process in prehistoric times 
is mainly inferential. Only a few fragments of the actual 
moulds have survived. But one group of objects, repre- 
senting the stock-in-trade of a Late Bronze Age smith 
unearthed at St Chly-du-Tarn (Loz&re) in France, 
included a large lump of wax (4). From Egypt and 
Mesopotamia textual evidence for the employment of 
the cire perdue process is extant. 

The cire perdue process sounds very complicated and 
laborious. But really, once the technique has been 



acquired, the only part that required time and close 
attention was the preparation of the wax model. This 
could be greatly accelerated and simplified by casting 
the model in a mould. In point of fact, while some stone 
moulds of the types just described above were no doubt 
directly employed for making the final bronze casting, 
the majority of them, and probably all bronze moulds 
(Fig. 2, no. 3), were used not for the casting proper 
but for forming quickly the wax model. Models could 
be turned out very readily with the aid of such moulds 
and moreover could very easily be trimmed up and 
embellished so as to yield an admirable model. Difficult 
operations could be simplified by the use of this pro- 
cedure since the model was always subject to adjustment 
before being coated with clay. So, in the manufacture 
of socketed celts, the core could be steadied during the 
casting of the model by a wedge under its lower end ; 
the crack in the wax left by this could easily be filled up 
before the model was dipped in its clay bath. It is 
possible too that the marvellous curvilinear patterns 
that adorn Hungarian and Scandinavian bronzes were 
engraved, not with hammer and chisel on the hard 
bronze itself, but on the soft wax of the model. 

The cire perdue process is also applicable to the casting 
of thin objects over a core. Metal vessels can be made 
by modelling a lump of clay to the required shape, 
coating the lump with a thin layer of wax and then 
enveloping the whole in a mantle of clay, leaving of 
course in the outer cover a passage for drawing off the 
wax and pouring in the metal. In the case of objects 
such as vases the clay core would be broken up after the 
casting, but in other cases it might be left in place. 
The Scottish National Museum possesses a sword- 
pommel which turns out on examination to be just a 


clay core sheathed in thin bronze. It was doubtless 
prepared in the way just described. 

Castings made on the open hearth or in a valve mould 
had subsequently to be trimmed up by rubbing with 
sand and hammering to remove the seam and other 
roughnesses. The edge of cutting tools and weapons, 
whether cast in stone moulds or by the cire perdue 
process, must be sharpened by hammering which 
served also to harden the metal. Hammering was more- 
over the only method of producing sheet-metal known 
to the ancients. It must be remembered that while 
copper and gold can be worked with the hammer while 
cold, bronze must be brought to a red heat before 
hammering has much effect. 

Wire, at least in Europe, was never made by " drawing ", 
Gold and bronze wire of a round section might be made 
by hammering out a rod of the metal and then rolling it 
to round off the edges. Alternatively a narrow ribbon 
of thin metal was twisted very tightly. A wire of tri- 
angular cross-section might be made by hammering a 
metal rod into a V-shaped groove. In Egypt there is 
some evidence that gold wire was really manufactured 
under the Middle Kingdom by drawing forcing the 
metal through fine holes. 

For joining pieces of metal, rivets were used through- 
out the Bronze Age, as to-day. The rivets had, of course, 
to be of softer metal than the objects to be riveted, e.g 
a bronze poor in tin. In the Aegean and Spain silvei 
rivets were often employed for riveting bronze or coppei 
daggers. In the Ancient East soldering was also regu- 
larly used for joining pieces of gold and silver. The 
Sumerians also employed lead as a solder for copper, 
In barbarian Europe no such processes were known 
during the Bronze Age. That incidentally debarred the 


European jeweller from using filigree work, gold wire 
soldered on to a solid background so as to form a pattern, 
a process very popular with Sumerian and Trojan gold- 
smiths. Brazing, the union of two pieces by heating 
the edges to be joined nearly to melting-point and 
hammering, is also said to have been practised by 
the Sumerians and was possibly known even to the 
barbarians of continental Europe. The latter certainly 
employed a process of casting-on (Anguss). When, for 
example, it was desired to weld together two tubes, 
they were placed end to end and the join surrounded 
by a wax ring. This was then coated with clay and 
replaced by a metal ring by the are -perdue process. The 
hilts of daggers were sometimes cast to fit on to the 
blades in the same way, the hilts being modelled in wax 
fitting over the blades. 


A sine qua non for the free use of metal whether on 
the alluvial plains of Mesopotamia or on the boulder 
clays of Denmark was, as we saw, regular foreign trade. 
In the Ancient East trade by the third millennium B.C. 
was probably conducted on very much the same lines 
as native commerce in Asia to-day, save that coined 
money was unknown. A collection of clay tablets found 
in Cappadocia are inscribed with the business letters of 
a group of bankers and merchants settled there in 
connection with the metal trade. They give a lively 
picture of the traffic between the metalliferous regions of 
Asia Minor and the agricultural and industrial cities of the 
Tigris-Euphrates plains. Great caravans of merchandise 
travelled up and down the famous route that follows the 
Euphrates. The commerce was financed by a system of 
loans, secured by contracts many of which have come 


down to us. Other documents from Mesopotamia, also 
written in the wedge-like characters called cuneiform, 
refer to the importation of copper from the mountainous 
region east of the Tigris and of metal and stdne from 
Magan (probably Oman on the Persian Gulf), IjSyptian 
records from the Old Kingdom onwards refer to ^fcpedi- 
tions sent by the Pharaohs across the desert to Sifl|i for 
the extraction of copper and turquoise. Contemp&rary 
inscriptions mention the importation of cedar-woofepy 
ship from North Syria. It was to secure this trade 
the Egyptians established a colony or protectorate 
Byblos. Sidney Smith (?) has pointed out how co 
cial relations between the civilized States would havf 
involved actual transference of population as they do 1 
to-day. Craftsmen from foreign lands would gravitate to 
cities where political or geographical circumstances 
had created a market for their wares and skill and would 
in turn add to the riches of their adopted home. 

Archaeological data faithfully reflect these commer- 
cial relations by the wide distribution of rare substances 
or common types. Lapis lazuli beads were worn even 
in prehistoric times from Baluchistan to Egypt. Obsidian 
was used in the prediluvian settlements of Susa and 
aFUbaid as in predynastic Egypt. In Late Predynastic 
and protodynastic times we find a number of artistic 
motives and architectural devices, at all times common 
in Mesopotamia, abruptly and temporarily adopted in 
Egypt as if in imitation of Sumerian originals. Con- 
versely in the early Royal Tombs of Ur we find the 
Egyptian sistrum represented. The most dramatic proof 
of extensive commercial relations is however the dis- 
covery in several pre-Sargonic sites in Mesopotamia of 
seals, differing altogether in design and fabric from the 
countless native seals, but identical with specimens 


unearthed in prehistoric sites in the Indus valley. This 
is the earliest recorded instance of the transmission of 
manufactures over such vast distances. The transference 
of such instruments of commercial negotiation clearly 
implies an extensive trade in other articles, such as 
cotton, between the two distant regions. And so we see 
that the caravans were already crossing the Syrian and 
Persian deserts and merchantmen already furrowing the 
Mediterranean and Erythraean Seas five thousand years 


The conditions of trade in barbarian Europe would 
naturally be somewhat different. Here there were as 
yet no cities, but only villages of peasant farmers or 
meeting-places for semi-nomadic herdsmen. While such 
had little but slaves to offer the civilized folk of the 
Ancient East, the tin of Tuscany and Cornwall, the 
gold of Transylvania and Ireland and above all the 
amber of Jutland and East Prussia^) might well find a 
market in the East Mediterranean world. It is signifi- 
cant that the first continental centres where metal came 
into use lie either in the vicinity of such deposits or 
along routes leading thereto. Relations with the East 
Mediterranean centres of metallurgy are demonstrated 
not only by the obvious derivation of most early Euro- 
pean metal objects from ancient Oriental models, but 
also by their association with Egyptian or Aegean 
manufactures such as glazed^eads or, in Central Europe, 
Mediterranean shells. 

The intimacy and wide extent of commercial relations 
between the several parts of Europe during the Bronze 
Age is illustrated by the number of types common to a 
wide area and by the diffusion of stray examples of types, 


specialized in a particular area, far beyond their primary 
habitat. Thus at the beginning of the Bronze Age the 
same types of dagger were in. use in Eastern Spain, 
Brittany, Great Britain, Upper Italy, Czechoslovakia, 
Southern Germany and Eastern France. The peculiar 
weapon known as the halberd (p. 79) was common to 
Upper Italy, Spain, Ireland and Central Germany. 
Direct interchange of goods is demonstrated by the 
occurrence sporadically in Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, 
Central Germany and Denmark of a type of gold col- 
lar, termed a lunula, common only in Ireland and 
Scotland (57). Again a form of battle-axe, native to Hun- 
gary, is represented by stray specimens from Bavaria, 
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Silesia, Poland, and the Uk- 
raine. Axe-heads of types characteristic of Britain and 
Italy respectively have been found side by side in 

It is therefore plain that even manufactured articles 
were traded between the various communities of Euro- 
pean barbarians, to say nothing of substances like arnber 
and jet. But it must be noted that the "communities" 
just referred to are more than geographical districts, and 
the "types" that help to define them have other func- 
tions to fulfil in the archaeologist's scheme. We must 
therefore diverge here to define a "culture". 


During the Bronze Age, as in the preceding period, 
Europe was divided up among a multiplicity of distinct 
communities or peoples. These may be distinguished 
from one another by burial rites, architecture, art and 
the types of tools, weapons, vessels and ornaments they 
used. The distinctive metal, bone, stone and pottery 


types (artifacts), regularly found associated 1 in graves 
and settlements over a given geographical area, together 
with the peculiarities of the domestic and funerary 
structures in which they occur, constitute what is called 
a culture. In a culture thus defined there is good reason 
to recognize the material expression of that community 
of traditions which distinguishes a people in the modern 

Types, therefore, are symbols of cultural groups and 
their relations, but also, as we shall see, indicators of 
relative age. This dual function is not without incon- 
venience; for a culture, like the people it represents, is 
not static but can move about. It is therefore well to 
ask in any given case whether the appearance of a 
specific type in a region outside its original home is due 
to trade or migration. In the first case its appearance in 
the new region will serve to establish a synchronism 
with the home area; in the alternative this is not guaran- 
teed; for a conservative people coming into a progressive 
area may bring with them and retain old-fashioned types. 

To answer the question the following considerations 
are helpful. When a culture moves bodily, i.e. when 
the whole complex of types, fashions and habits spreads, 
into an area where the said forms of tools and weapons, 
artistic conventions and burial rites had not previously 
been generally current, we must admit that we are 
dealing with a migration. That might conceivably be a 
slow process throughout which some or all the types 
remained without material modification. In any case, 
the more intimate and imponderable traits of a culture, 
such as pottery and burial rites that could hardly be 

1 Objects are said to be associated when they are found together 
in circumstances indicative of contemporary use, e.g. as the furniture of a 
single burial or in the ruins of a single hut. 


traded and would rarely be imitated and that only by 
immediate neighbours, will move as much as portable 
commodities like metal types. The reader will, moreover, 
doubtless concede that the supersession of a more 
practical type, like the shaft-hole axe, by an inferior 
one, such as the socketed celt, can hardly be explained 
by the external relation of trade or neighbourly imita- 
tion but implies something deeper such as conquest or 

Conversely when stray objects properly belonging to 
one culture are found in the area of another associated 
with types proper to the latter, we are dealing with 
"external relations". Trade is the simplest and most 
natural explanation for the appearance of a Hungarian 
axe in North Germany or an Irish ornament in Den- 
mark, but it is always possible that the axe was dropped 
by a Hungarian raider or the lunula looted from Ireland 
by a Danish pirate. 


As a result of the extensive trade of the Bronze 
Age and its peculiar conditions, we have a class of 
closed finds very rare in previous epochs. In addition 
to grave furniture and relics from settlements we now 
encounter what are called * * hoards " (4) . These are groups 
of implements, ornaments or vessels buried together 
in the earth. Sometimes hoards have been enclosed in 
a vessel; occasionally there are traces of a sack or leather 
bag, but naturally such receptacles have seldom sur- 
vived. Hoards are of various kinds : some appear to be 
just the personal possessions of an individual or a 
household and may be termed "domestic hoards". 
Such consist of a few tools, weapons and ornaments, 
comprising as a rule only one specimen of each type 


and normally showing signs of use. They have probably 
been buried by their owner in time of danger or while 
he was travelling and never retrieved so that their sur- 
vival is an indication of the owner's misfortune. Domestic 
hoards may be regarded as closed finds guaranteeing 
the contemporary use of all the articles deposited to- 
gether. They are thus valuable for synchronizing types, 
but otherwise of no special interest. 

Objects found together at the foot of a rock or a tree 
or in a spring or a swamp, may sometimes at least 
represent offerings made to a divinity supposed to in- 
habit the spot(8i). They are accordingly termed "votive 
hoards " and in general provide no guarantee of the 
contemporary use of the objects comprised in them. 

The remaining hoards belong to traders and normally 
contain several examples of each type of tool, weapon 
or ornament. In the Early Bronze Age the traders' 
hoards consist almost entirely of new or half-finished 
articles. Some at least seem to have belonged to travel- 
ling tinkers, bartering metal products which they were 
prepared to finish off on the spot to suit the taste of the 
customer. So some Central German hoards contain a 
number of dagger- or halberd-blades to which the 
merchant would fit hilts as required. The same hoards 
often contain amber beads, showing that their depositors 
were engaged in the amber trade. In the Late Bronze 
Age some of the traders had begun to specialize in 
particular lines, and accordingly we find hoards con- 
sisting exclusively of swords, sickles, or vases as the 
case may be. But even in the Early Bronze Age there 
are hoards composed entirely of ingots of raw copper in 
the form of torques. 

The contents of the foregoing commercial hoards in 
all probability were in contemporary use. That is not, 


however, true of another group of hoards, very common 
in the Late Bronze Age, that seem in some cases to have 
been left by a class of trader. They are characterized by 
the presence of old and broken tools, obviously scrap 
metal collected for remelting, and often too of metal- 
lurgical tools, moulds and ingots of raw metal; such are 
termed "founders' hoards " to distinguish them from 
ordinary traders' hoards. The distinction is vital since 
the objects included in them may be of very different 
date, being in fact any old pieces of scrap metal. Yet 
some such hoards probably belong to gangs of travelling 
tinkers who went round the countryside repairing broken 
tools and collecting scrap metal at a time when the 
demand was peculiarly intense. Others are so large that 
they must represent the stock of a village smithy buried 
at a moment of danger or of a station in the international 
metal trade. 

The accepted explanation of traders' hoards is that 
they were buried by the travelling merchant, when he 
saw himself threatened by some danger, with the inten- 
tion of reclaiming them when the peril was past. And 
in point of fact when plotted on a map, they are 
seen to lie along natural routes and to be thickest just 
where danger might be expected, for instance on the 
frontier of two cultural provinces. Hence a multitude 
of hoards, whether commercial or domestic, is anything 
but a sign of prosperity. It was rather in times of unrest 
that valuables had to be entrusted to the preservation of 
the earth. So the majority of hoards of Roman coins, 
unearthed in France and Scotland, are shown by their 
dates to have been buried during reigns when it is 
known that those lands were harried by civil war or 
barbarian raids. 



With the aid of maps showing the distribution of 
contemporary hoards and of individual types, found 
isolated or in other closed finds, it is possible to plot 
out in some detail the main arteries of the European 
economic system. Of all the commercial highways thus 
disclosed, the amber route (23) connecting the Baltic and 
the Adriatic was the most important. The ways, that 
diverged slightly at different periods, are clearly marked 
by amber ornaments, datable by their associations in 
graves and hoards. From Jutland the fossil resin was 
transmitted, during the Early Bronze Age, up the 
Elbe to Bohemia and thence across the Bohmer Wald 
to the Upper Danube at Linz or Passau. An early 
branch route, however, followed the Saale valley through 
Thuringia (where there are important salt deposits) to 
the head-waters of the Main and then reached the Upper 
Danube over the Prankish Jura. Thence in either case 
the Inn was followed to the foot of the Brenner. The 
traders used this pass to bring their goods by way of the 
Adige to the Po valley and the head of the Adriatic. 

The large number of tools and weapons of Italian 
pattern found along the amber route show that the 
inhabitants of Upper Italy played an important part as 
intermediaries in the trade. Still the quantities of amber 
found in tombs in Greece from 1600 B.C. on leave no 
doubt that the Aegean market was already open. At 
the same time Bohemia was a very important agency, so 
much so indeed that its inhabitants may be said to have 
controlled the northern end of the route. The principal 
medium of barter used in the actual vicinity of the 
deposits during the Early Bronze Age was a gold ear- 
ring or lock-ring of a type originating immediately in 


Hungary and perhaps made of Hungarian gold; such 
ornaments have been found in very considerable num- 
bers in Jutland as well as in Bohemia and Saxo-Thurin- 
gia. It looks as if the people of the last two regions 
kept to themselves the bronze work of the South and 
bartered to the Danish natives only the gold they got 
from Hungary in exchange for tin. 

During the Middle Bronze Age the western branch 
of the central amber route along the Saale came into 
greater prominence, and a loop way was introduced as 
an alternative, following an old hill trackway across 
Thuringia to the Rhine near Mainz, then running up- 
stream to the mouth of the Neckar, and traversing that 
gap to reach the Upper Danube near Augsburg. 

Very possibly the East Prussian amber deposits were 
being tapped even during the Early Bronze Age. A 
series of hoards and stray bronzes, mostly of Saxo- 
Thuringian pattern, can be traced across Eastern Ger- 
many and Poland to converge near the mouth of the 
Vistula. Though the hoards of this date do not contain 
amber, they clearly denote a trade in Saxo-Thuringian 
bronzes which can only have been exchanged for East 
Prussian amber. The regular and extensive exploitation 
of the latter deposits, however, dates only from a late 
phase of the local Bronze Age, overlapping with the 
Early Iron Age in Austria. At that date the material 
was carried up the Vistula to its first elbow at Torun, 
thence to the Oder near Glogau and so across Silesia to 
the Glatz Pass. Thence the March valley was followed 
to the Danube, Thereafter the exact course of the route 
is obscure, but it seems to have traversed Styria and 
Carniola to reach the head of the Adriatic, 

Other routes on a smaller scale have been worked 
out in limited areas. A glance at the map of hoards, 


classified by periods appended to Behrens' Bronzezeit 
Sttddeutschlands, will give a good idea of what can be 
determined. On the other hand, the map of hoards 
in D^chelette's Manuel tells one very little, because 
all hoards are shown by the same symbol without 
distinction of age, 


Intercourse during the Bronze Age was facilitated by 
the climatic conditions then ruling over our continent^). 
While the earlier part of the New Stone Age had been 
wetter, though warmer, than the present, drier con- 
ditions set in towards the close of that period and were 
intensified during the Bronze Age. The result of this 
sub-boreal phase, as climatologists term it, was that 
tracts that are to-day naturally wooded became park- 
lands or, in extreme cases, open heath or steppers). As 
the primeval forest, dangerous to traverse by reason of 
the bears and wolves it sheltered, and difficult to clear 
with expensive bronze axes, presented to our forefathers 
the most serious obstacle to settlement and free move- 
ment, the dry period was to most Europeans a climatic 
optimum. In some parts of the North European plain, 
however, the drought may have been so great as to be 
incompatible with sedentary agriculture, thus pro- 
moting popular migrations. In Ireland and large tracts 
of Great Britain, on the contrary, it is excessive wind and 
moisture that impedes the growth of timber. Here, 
therefore, the sub-boreal epoch was certainly a forest 
phase; to it belongs the upper layer (there is often an 
older one of Mesolithic Age) of tree trunks and stools 
discovered in our peat-mosses. In these islands, there- 
fore, the sub-boreal dryness had little effect upon the 
area available for settlement. Only the dry uplands 


were really thickly populated, and even the trade routes 
avoided as far as possible the wooded valleys unless a 
navigable river flowed along them. 


The commercial intercourse, essential to the very 
existence of a Bronze Age, was expedited by a series of 
inventions. Perhaps the most revolutionary was the 
harnessing of animal motive power, the first step in the 
emancipation of mankind from the burden of crushing 
physical labour that has led to the steam engine and the 
petrol motor. Neolithic man possessed oxen and other 
tame beasts, but there is no conclusive evidence that he 
ever set them even to drag his plough ; when he travelled 
he and his wife must carry the household goods as 
among the Australian aborigines to-day. But very 
early in the Bronze Age of the Ancient East the ox had 
been yoked to the plough and set to work in the fields, 
and even in Europe, by an early phase of the same 
period, representations of an ox-drawn plough were being 
carved on the rocks of the Ligurian Alps. 

On sandy deserts or open grass-lands the same animal 
could be harnessed to draw loads on runners. 1 Effective 
use of the animal's tractive powers, however, involved 
the discovery of the wheel. Therewith mankind set foot 
on the road that led to the motor car. The earliest 
wheeled vehicles known as yet have recently been 
brought to light in tombs at Kish and Ur dating from 
before 3000 B.C.(S). The wheels are clumsy affairs, just 
three solid pieces of wood, shaped to segments of a 
circle, clamped together and tyred with leather, that 

1 There is some very uncertain evidence from Finland for the use of 
a sleigh, drawn presumably by reindeer or dogs, even in Mesolithic 


classified by periods appended to Behrens' Bronzezeit 
SttddeutschlandS) will give a good idea of what can be 
determined. On the other hand, the map of hoards 
in D^chelette's Manuel tells one very little, because 
all hoards are shown by the same symbol without 
distinction of age. 


Intercourse during the Bronze Age was facilitated by 
the climatic conditions then ruling over our continent^). 
While the earlier part of the New Stone Age had been 
wetter, though warmer, than the present, drier con- 
ditions set in towards the close of that period and were 
intensified during the Bronze Age. The result of this 
sub-boreal phase, as climatologists term it, was that 
tracts that are to-day naturally wooded became park- 
lands or, in extreme cases, open heath or steppe (25). As 
the primeval forest, dangerous to traverse by reason of 
the bears and wolves it sheltered, and difficult to clear 
with expensive bronze axes, presented to our forefathers 
the most serious obstacle to settlement and free move- 
ment, the dry period was to most Europeans a climatic 
optimum. In some parts of the North European plain, 
however, the drought may have been so great as to be 
incompatible with sedentary agriculture, thus pro- 
moting popular migrations. In Ireland and large tracts 
of Great Britain, on the contrary, it is excessive wind and 
moisture that impedes the growth of timber. Here, 
therefore, the sub-boreal epoch was certainly a forest 
phase; to it belongs the upper layer (there is often an 
older one of Mesolithic Age) of tree trunks and stools 
discovered in our peat-mosses. In these islands, there- 
fore, the sub-boreal dryness had little effect upon the 
area available for settlement. Only the dry uplands 


were really thickly populated, and even the trade routes 
avoided as far as possible the wooded valleys unless a 
navigable river flowed along them. 


The commercial intercourse, essential to the very 
existence of a Bronze Age, was expedited by a series of 
inventions. Perhaps the most revolutionary was the j 
harnessing of animal motive power, the first step in the 
emancipation of mankind from the burden of crushing , 
physical labour that has led to the steam engine and the 
petrol motor. Neolithic man possessed oxen and other 
tame beasts, but there is no conclusive evidence that he 
ever set them even to drag his plough ; when he travelled 
he and his wife must carry the household goods as 
among the Australian aborigines to-day. But very 
early in the Bronze Age of the Ancient East the ox had 
been yoked to the plough and set to work in the fields, 
and even in Europe, by an early phase of the same 
period, representations of an ox-drawn plough were being 
carved on the rocks of the Ligurian Alps. 

On sandy deserts or open grass-lands the same animal 
could be harnessed to draw loads on runners. 1 Effective 
use of the animal's tractive powers, however, involved 
the discovery of the wheel. Therewith mankind set foot 
on the road that led to the motor car. The earliest 
wheeled vehicles known as yet have recently been 
brought to light in tombs at Kish and Ur dating from 
before 3000 B.C.(S). The wheels are clumsy affairs, just 
three solid pieces of wood, shaped to segments of a 
circle, clamped together and tyred with leather, that 

1 There is some very uncertain evidence from Finland for the use of 
a sleigh, drawn presumably by reindeer or dogs, even in Mesolithic 



turned with the axle. Otherwise the main outlines of 
later cars are clearly foreshadowed. The draught animals, 
asses or oxen, were harnessed on either side of a pole 
fixed to the middle of the fore axle. They were guided 
by reins which passed through a double ring or terret, 
fixed to the chariot pole. Light two-wheeled chariots 
are little, if at all, later than these four-wheeled carts. A 
model cart from the Indus valley dates from the third 
millennium, while by that time wheeled vehicles were also 
known in Crete, as is shown by a clay model of M.M, I 
date. Even in Spain there are quaint rock-paintings, 
representing a wheeled cart, that may date back to the 
Copper Age. In Egypt, however, wheeled vehicles 
were apparently unknown before the end of the Middle 
Kingdom. Thereafter they were introduced by the bar- 
barian invaders known as the Hyksos. About the same 
time the two-wheeled chariot drawn by horses was 
adopted in the Aegean area. In the Minoan and Myce- 
naean chariots the axle is under the body of the car, 
whereas in contemporary Egyptian vehicles it was in 
front(26>. Whether wheeled vehicles were known north 
of the Alps during the earlier part of the Bronze Age 
is still uncertain. By the middle of that period bridle- 
bits furnish, as we shall see, evidence of the subjugation 
of the horse, and pendants in the form of a wheel imply 
a knowledge of that device. 

While on the topic of the wheel we must mention 
another very different application of the invention, the 
potter's wheel (a?). All Neolithic vessels have been built 
up by hand, aided only by a leaf or mat on which the 
lump of clay might stand, and smoothing tools of wood 
or bone. By Old Kingdom times, however, the Egyp- 
tians were utilizing a pivoted disc that would revolve 
readily as the pot was being shaped. It is sometimes 


called the tournette. But by 3000 B.C. Sumerian potters 
were already using the true wheel that will spin fast. 
The lump of soft clay is placed on the centre of, or on 
a tray connected by a sort of axle to the centre of, a 
horizontal wheel. The latter can be made to rotate 
rapidly by the potter's foot or by an assistant. A lump 
of clay of the proper consistency thus set spinning almost 
automatically assumes a cylindrical form; all the potter's 
hand has to do is to give the gyrating mass the required 
contours. By the use of this device ten or twenty vessels 
can be modelled, and that more symmetrically, in the 
time required for building up one by free hand. On 
the other hand, with the adoption of the wheel, pottery 
tends to become a factory product and to lose much of 
its individuality. 

Going back in the East to at least 3000 B.C., the 
potter's wheel reached Crete and Troy II by M.M. I 
times (from which dates the earliest evidence too for 
the wheeled vehicle in the Aegean). Soon after the 
device crossed to mainland Greece. But farther north 
and west pots continued to be made exclusively by the 
free hand till late in the Iron Age. There is, however, 
evidence that a cognate device, the lathe, was in use in 
Britain by the middle of the local Bronze Age (see p. 1 8 9). 

Parallel to the acceleration of land transport by the 
use of the wheel went a great expansion of maritime 
intercourse. Even Mesolithic man had been able to 
venture on the sea in some sort of craft so as to reach 
the island of Oransay, and the immense voyages of the 
Polynesians in improved (top-straked) dug-outs, show 
what could be accomplished without the use of any 
metal tool. But no true ships certainly antedate the 
copper axe and chisel. Even before the union of the 
lands in one kingdom, the predynastic Egyptians 



depicted on their vases quite big vessels with two cabins 
and propelled by as many as fifty oars. These boats 
seem to have grown out of a small raft made of bundles 
of papyrus lashed together, but their sides were probably 
already made of planks of Syrian timber tied together 
like the original papyrus bundles. At the same time 
another type of vessel with a very high prow, only 
known at first from Egyptian monuments, had grown 
up on the Persian Gulf and the Erythraean Seado). 
These were sailing ships, so that the dwellers on those 
coasts had already harnessed the winds as their con- 
temporaries on shore had subdued the strength of 
ox and ass. This is another mechanical invention at- 
tributable to the Bronze Age. 

In the Aegean (12), ships, related to the high-prowed 
Erythraean type but equipped with fixed rudders, are 
depicted from Early Minoan times onwards. Probably 
it was hence that hardy mariners sailed beyond the 
Pillars of Hercules whose ships provided the models 
for Scandinavian boat-builders. The latters* products 
have been depicted on rock-carvings in Southern Swe- 
den. In any case the Egyptian, Aegean and Syrian 
ships of the third millennium were certainly capable of 
crossing the Mediterranean. The diffusion of megalithic 
tombs along the coasts of Portugal, France, Ireland and 
Scotland to Scandinavia may reasonably be regarded as 
proof that they also faced the Atlantic and the North 
Sea. And indeed Danish amber and English jet were 
reaching the western coasts of the Mediterranean even 
during the Copper Age. So it is fairly certain that 
maritime intercourse between Scandinavia, the British 
Isles and the Iberian Peninsula supplemented the great 
transcontinental land route from the North to the 
Mediterranean throughout the Bronze Age. 



The other inventions incidental to international com- 
merce need not be described here in detail. The necessity 
for contracts and accounts no doubt gave an impetus 
to the development of writing. Many documents written 
on clay tablets from Mesopotamia and Crete bear wit- 
ness to this use of writing. As mastery of the art was the 
accomplishment of a few " scribes ", the average corre- 
spondent, being unable to sign his name, would instead 
impress upon the soft clay a seal bearing a distinctive 
emblem, originally perhaps his guardian animal or 

A system of metrology was equally needed for trade. 
Various standards were used by the different civilizations 
of the Ancient East. In continental Europe have been 
found a number of symbolic double-axes, apparently 
Copper or Early Bronze Age in date. On being placed 
on the scales, it is found that the weights of such are 
interrelated, all being multiples of an Asiatic unit termed 
the mina. Late in the Bronze Age weights of stone and 
Fead have been found in the Swiss lake-dwellings. In 
form they are quite like modern weights with a little 
loop for suspension; they too correspond to multiples 
of a 


The intimacy of the subsisting commercial relations 
makes the correlation and synchronization of deposits 
from different parts of Europe far easier during the 
Bronze Age than in the preceding New Stone Age. The 
types of tools, weapons and ornaments, current in our 
continent, did not remain constant for any length of 


time as they had in the Orient. They were rapidly 
modified in response to new inventions and changes of 
fashion. In the case of some tools and weapons the 
changes take place in a continuous and regular order 
in one direction, illustrating progressive advances, just 
as improvements are incorporated in each year's new 
model of, say, an Austin car. Thus the celts or axe-heads 
are modified along several divergent lines till all con- 
verge again upon the socketed celt. Similarly the 
triangular dagger grows into a short dirk, then a rapier 
and eventually a cut-and-thrust sword. 

When the progressive improvement of a tool can 
thus be represented as a series of stages, we have what 
is termed a " typological series "(28). The presumption is 
that the more perfect types are later than the cruder 
ones, so that such a series would have a direct chrono- 
logical value. This assumption is not, however, neces- 
sarily justified; for degeneration is as much a fact as 
evolution. A typological series can only be accepted as 
representing a chronological sequence when the direc- 
tion of evolution has been tested by the independent 
dating of at least two stages. Moreover, the more 
rudimentary types naturally tend to persist side by side 
with their descendants. Hence while an advanced type 
indicates a relatively late date, a more rudimentary 
one is no such sure sign of antiquity. If you see a 
1930 model Austin in a garage, you are sure that the 
year is 1930 or later; a 1924 model is no sure 
proof that you have been transported back to that 

In several parts of continental Europe it has been 
possible to construct typological series illustrating the 
development of the celt, the dagger and sword, the 
spear-head, the razor, the safety-pin, etc., and to 


synchronize the several stages in one series with corre- 
sponding stages in the rest. This gives a sequence of 
periods defined by contemporary types. Montelius, a 
Swede, who first elaborated this method of establishing 
the relative chronology of barbarian Europe, recognized 
six periods in Scandinavia. It is claimed that in a large 
number of closed finds 1 of say Period III, only a small 
minority of the types would belong to Periods II or IV 
and none at all to I or V. 

Within the area served by European trade the several 
stages, distinguished typologically in the different 
provinces, can be synchronized, and we thus obtain a 
relative chronology, based on typology, valid for the 
whole of Europe. On these principles we can easily 
distinguish everywhere within the economic system 
three main periods which we term the Early, Middle 
and Late Bronze Ages. The last period should close 
with the beginning of the first Iron Age or Hallstatt 
period in Austria, Switzerland and South Germany, but 
actually in Great Britain, Scandinavia and Hungary the 
arrival of iron was belated so that we have a prolongation 
of the Bronze Age in such areas. 

While the tripartite division above indicated is 
accurate enough for the present study and is indeed as 
minute as can be applied in practice to Europe as a 
whole, much finer divisions have been established by 
local specialists for restricted areas. Montelius, as noted, 
distinguished six periods for Scandinavia (generally 
represented by Roman numerals) of which the last three 
overlap with the Hallstatt Iron Age farther south. 
Sophus Mliller(29) identified twice as many in Denmark, 
P. Reinecke(3o> divides the pure Bronze Age in South 
Germany into four periods, lettered A to D, followed by 
1 See note on p. 42. 


a phase he terms Hallstatt A, in which iron had never- 
theless not penetrated beyond the Alps. Kraft (43), who 
follows Reinecke, therefore terms his Hallstatt A 
" Bronze Age E". The Early and Late Bronze Ages 
of Britain were each divided into two periods by 
Montelius<59), giving five in all. British archaeologists 
are, however, agreed that this subdivision cannot be 
carried through in practice and have further observed 
that the first marked gap in our Bronze Age comes at 
the beginning of what should be the Late Bronze 
Age (55) ; the Middle period is with us always vague and 
ill-defined. In France Dchelette(4) distinguished four 
periods, but these 1 are discordant with Reinecke's 
Central European system which, for reasons explained 
below, must set the standard. 

Any typological division is necessarily somewhat 
arbitrary and must be used with due caution. It is 
plainly applicable only to regions forming part of a 
single economic system, so that the interchange of goods 
and the spread of ideas is rapid and regular. The systems 
upon which our tripartite division is based were devised 
for countries lying along the central amber trade route 
(p. 46) where most of the leading types were evolved. 
We shall meet serious difficulties in applying it to other 
regions, such as England, which participated only in- 
directly or not at all in Scandinavian, Central European 
and North Italian progress. In the case of Spain, 
relations with the rest of continental Europe seem to 
have been broken off during the Early Bronze Age, and 
types of the Middle period are totally lacking. It is, 
therefore, likely that Early Bronze Age types remained 

1 On his Plate III (Period III) i and 10 are Reinecke B,and 2, 5, 1 1, 
14, 1 6, 19 and 20 Reinecke C, therefore all Middle Bronze Age; while 
3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13 and 15 are Late Bronze Age, Reinecke D. 


current in the Peninsula long after they had gone out of 
fashion in Central Europe. Trade between Western 
Europe and Russia only became effective in the latest 
Bronze Age. All the older types are virtually absent, 
but that by no means implies that the vast area was 
depopulated from the end of the Stone Age. Similarly 
only a few celts and daggers of Early Bronze Age type 
are known from Denmark because there a belated Stone 
Age persisted. One or two little ornaments of Early 
Bronze Age type from late Stone Age graves demon- 
strate this over lap (3). 

Again a type, not clearly imported and datable in its 
place of origin, can only be invoked as dating a deposit 
if the type in question was in effective use, and so 
susceptible of evolutionary modification, in the culture 
to which the deposit belongs. For example, in Hungary 
" celts " were seldom used for axe-heads, the normal 
axe-head having a hole for the shaft as in our modern 
tool. Accordingly the celt in Hungary was never im- 

roved as in other parts of Europe by the growth of 
anges, wings, and then a stop-ridge. The flat celt 
remained in vogue, but its occurrence here is no indica- 
tion of an Early Bronze Age date. 

A further defect of typological chronology is the 
difficulty of recognizing what may be called "retarda- 
tion , when synchronizing different provinces. On the 
theory, each improvement in the typological series 
originated at one point and quickly spread thence 
throughout the economic system. But there is no 
guarantee that the new type should be traded in all 
directions or find immediate acceptance everywhere. 
On a rigid application of the typological method all 
deposits containing types belonging to the same phase 
should be contemporary. Yet there are indications that 


the Late Bronze Age types evolved in Central Europe 
(Upper Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Southern Germany) 
were only introduced into Britain and Hungary as the 
result of migrations that may have been quite gradual. 
Yet the scheme offers no means of checking the possible 
delay thus involved. 


The foundation of the European Bronze Age in, 
and its continued connections with, the Aegean and the 
Ancient East, opens up the possibility of assigning to 
the relative divisions sketched above absolute values 
in terms of solar years. The invention of the Oriental 
prototypes from which the European objects are ulti- 
mately derived plainly gives a terminus post quern for the 
appearance of the latter. The range of the simpler 
original forms, such as flat celts, is, however, so great 
as to afford no serviceable basis for synchronisms. The 
earliest pins, ear-rings and collars current in the Danu- 
bian province reproduce exactly specialized Asiatic 
models. But the first two groups go back in their 
homeland to before 3000 B.C., which is an impossible 
date for the European copies. The collars on the other 
hand are known from Syria and Egypt first about 
1800 B.C., and this, if the Oriental origin of the form 
be admitted, would give a reasonable upper limit for 
our Early Bronze Age. An approximation to a lower 
limit is suggested by a clay vessel from an Early Bronze 
Age grave in Saxony that seems to copy a peculiar sort 
of metal cup popular in the Aegean between 1 700 and 
1 500 B.C. Certain Egyptian or Cretan paste beads 
found in tombs furnished with Early Bronze Age 
daggers and axes in South-eastern Spain would give a 


still lower limit to the period there but that the types of 
bead have rather too wide a range. 

Right at the end of the Middle Bronze Age a rapier 
of Aegean type, datable there about 1350 B.C., appears 
in German graves. Then, before 1200, swords, apparently 
of European origin and Late Bronze Age date, reached 
Greece and Egypt. A cross-dating is thereby obtained 
fixing the beginning of the Late Bronze Age between 
1300 and 1250 B.C. These figures are, however, only 
valid for the standard region along the central amber 
trade route. Elsewhere we must allow for a considerable 
retardation as already explained. 

Knee-shaft of wood for hafting 
celts, cf. p. 6 1. 


TH E variety of tools, weapons, vessels and ornaments 
at the disposal of Bronze Age man was immensely 
greater than that known to his Stone Age forebears. It 
is the material expression of enrichment of life and 
extended control over nature. The enormous wealth of 
objects that have come down to us from this brief 
episode in human history renders possible a vivid 
picture of that phase of life. Still it is almost embarras- 
sing to the archaeologist. Here we shall describe only 
the principal types of general interest, confining our- 
selves in the case of the Ancient East to varieties that 
have a special chronological or comparative value for 
students in North-western Europe. 


The most widespread, and for typological chronology 
the most important, family of tools is conveniently 
termed "celt". This designation is properly applied to 
axe-heads, but is sometimes extended to adzes and even 
chisels of comparable form. The celt, whether used as 
an axe or an adze, was mounted on a wooden staff or 
shaft, the blade in the former case running parallel to 
the length of the shaft, in the latter at right angles 
thereto. The butt might of course be fitted directly into 
a slit in a straight shaft, but, in the case of all the 
European celts whose evolution is sketched below, it 
is certain that the so-called knee-shaft was employed (a). 
This can most readily be obtained by cutting off a 
suitable bough or sapling just below the point where a 


branch grew out of it. This side branch was then broken 
off a couple of inches from its root and split. The celt 
was inserted in the cleft which was then bound round 
with sinews or wire. (Fig. on p. 59.) 

Axe-heads and adze-heads of ground stone or flint 
had been in use throughout the Neolithic Age and 
indeed formed the most distinctive external trait of 
that epoch. The earlier metal celts very closely resemble 
the stone implements, some even reproducing the local 
peculiarities of the Neolithic celts from the same district. 
Nevertheless, some authors consider that polished stone 
celts are all really imitations of copper originals. 

The simplest form of metal celt, therefore termed 
the flat celt, is in any case, like the stone implements, 
practically flat on both faces, and the sides are nearly 
but seldom quite parallel. Except in Egyptian ex- 
amples the blade is generally slightly splayed out; 
this splay would be a natural result of the hammering 
necessary to sharpen the edge. Flat celts occur already 
in predynastic Egypt, prediluvian strata at Susa in 
Elam and in prehistoric cities on the Indus, as in the 
earliest metal-using cultures of Cyprus, Crete, the 
Cyclades and Greece. While most early Oriental speci- 
mens are made of copper, the form was reproduced in 
bronze at Troy and in the Aegean area generally. 
Simple flat celts are also characteristic of the "Copper 
Age" in Southern and Eastern Russia, Hungary, Italy, 
Sardinia, Spain and Ireland. They occur sporadically 
over a much wider area, even reaching Scandinavia, and 
are sometimes associated with stone celts (e.g. in the 
Rhine valley) in hoards and quite often in settlements. 

By the beginning of the local Bronze Age the outlines 
of the flat celt were being modified in Europe. In the 
British Isles we meet with types whose butts are very 


narrow in proportion to the wide curving blade (Fig. 3, 
no. 3). In Bohemia there is a variant with pointed 
triangular butt, probably an adze-head. 

But by this time the typological evolution was already 
beginning. The first stage in the series is the flanged 
celt (Randleistenbeil) hache A rebords e/evees\ distin- 
guished by ridges at the sides of either face. These 
flanges were doubtless in the first instance produced by 
the hammering on the sides that was in any case 
necessary after casting in an open mould (s). But they 
were useful in two ways, both giving the tool increased 
longitudinal rigidity (diminishing the risk of buckling 
in the sense of the blow) and preventing the head 
waggling on its shaft by gripping the prongs of the 
split branch. 

That the value of such flanges was known at least to 
the ancient Egyptians is shown by a chisel strengthened 
in this way from the tomb of Hetep-heres, the mother 
of the Pyramid-builder Cheops (Khufu)(8>, but it was 
apparently never applied to celts in Egypt, Mesopo- 
tamia, the Aegean area or even Hungary and Southern 
Russia. On the other hand, flanged celts, even of copper, 
occur in Italian tombs, and in bronze they are charac- 
teristic of the Early Bronze Age in Italy, Czechoslovakia, 
Southern Germany, Britain and South-eastern Spain. 
By a mature phase of that period local variations are 
observable. Italian specimens always have a nick in the 
butt formed by leaving intact part of the two jets from 
the casting in a valve mould (Fig. 4, no. i); in 
Bohemian and Central German types the butt is tri- 
angular. In the Middle Bronze Age the foregoing 
types persisted with divergent local variations in certain 
areas. In Scandinavia, for example, the body is rather 
long, the sides exactly parallel, and the flanges very 



ta^ <J 

<a << 
. s 

o a _ 
'S B'S 
a d w l 

K^ : 
-d > -fi o 


8,13 . 


prominent (Fig. 4, no. 5). In Western Switzerland 
and the Rhone valley a type, based on Italian models, 
grew up distinguished by a great spatuliform blade. 
At the same time evolutionary improvements were 
being tried along three distinct lines. 

Winged celts (Lappenbeil, hache d ailerons) 

To diminish further the risk of side-slip a section of 
the flanges on either face was widened to produce wings 
that Could be hammered round the shaft-prongs on 
either face. Thus arose the winged celt that was at home 
in South-west Germany and Upper Italy. At first the 
wings are in the centre of the implement (Fig. 4, no. 2) ; 
towards the close of the Middle Bronze Age they have 
retreated towards the butt. Then in the Late Bronze Age 
a loop or ear is added for the thongs that lashed the 
tool on to its shaft, and the section of the body below 
the wings is thickened, perhaps under the influence of 
the palstaves (Fig. 3, no. 8). 

Palstaves (Absatzbeil, hache d talon) 

To prevent the axe-head slipping back up the cleft 
of the shaft at each stroke and so splitting the knee- 
stick, a stop-ridge was developed between the flanges to 
engage the ends of the shaft-prongs. The rudiments of 
such a stop-ridge are observable on some Early Bronze 
Age flanged celts both in Great Britain and in Central 
Europe, but the fully developed palstave belongs to 
the Middle Bronze Age (Reinecke C) and is character- 
istic of Scandinavia, North-west Germany, France and 
Britain (Fig. 3, no. 5). Subsequently the space between 
the flanges below the stop-ridge was filled up with 
metal in the casting, A reminiscence of the flanges is 


for a time preserved in the form of decorative ridges. 
Especially in Scandinavia one can see very pretty 
examples of " reminiscent decoration". A tapering ridge 
is cast on each face of the palstave below the stop-ridge 
to simulate the prongs of the cleft shaft that had once 
projected downwards visibly on the faces of the tool. 
A rather later stage is denoted by the addition of 
an ear (Fig. 3, no. 6). There is a group of palstaves 
with two ears, one on each side, in the Iberian 
Peninsula, Southern France and Sardinia. A few such 
palstaves have been found in the British Isles (Fig. 3, 
no. 7), principally in the south and west. These are 
doubtless imports, but it is generally supposed that the 
palstave reached the Iberian Peninsula from Britain, It 
is nevertheless to be noted that implements with two 
lateral loops and exactly resembling the palstave in plan 
but flat on both faces are common in Sardinia. 

Constricted celts (Eohmisches 

The advantages of the winged celt and the palstave 
seem to be combined in a tool called by German 
archaeologists a Bohemian palstave. It probably grew 
up as follows. In Switzerland and Bavaria we find a 
sort of flanged celt that has been hammered so hard on 
the centre of each side that the body is narrowed while 
wings develop on either face (Fig. 4, no. 3). The 
classical Bohemian palstave might result from imitating 
the product by casting, the section below the wings 
being again cast solid (Fig. 4, no. 4). This form appears 
in Bohemia and Moravia during the Middle Bronze Age 
and was exported to neighbouring territories, particu- 
larly Hungary (41). 



Socketed celt (Tullenbeil^ hache a douille) 

The natural culmination of all the previous develop- 
ments was the socketed celt. It no longer requires the 
splitting of the shaft-end, eliminates side-slip almost 
entirely and provides a surface to engage the end of 
the shaft. In the Late Bronze Age this form certainly 
ousted all its predecessors. According to Montelius it 
was evolved from one of them, the winged celt. It is 
supposed that the wings grew till they met round the 
shart-prongs, forming a sort of tube divided by a septum 
(the body of the celt) in the middle. This was then 
eliminated and the end of the tube closed. It is true that 
some socketed celts, principally in Italy and Southern 
Germany where winged celts were current, exhibit 
semicircular ornaments cast in relief on either side 
(Fig. 4, no. 7). These certainly imitate wings and, on 
the theory, are survivals thereof. However, in Hungary 
and Moravia the socketed celts, instead of the wing 
pattern, are decorated with ridges forming a V on either 
face that, just as obviously, reproduce the opening of a 
constricted celt. And in Scandinavia there are remark- 
able socketed celts with imitation flanges and a tapering 
ridge between them on the lower part of the blade 
(Fig. 4, no. 6). These successfully reproduce the effect 
of a flanged celt, hafted, and bound round with a 
bronze collar. Sophus Muller<29) indeed contends that 
the Danish socketed celt was evolved thus out of the 
flanged celt with attached bronze collar without the 
intervention of the winged ' celt. 

None of these a priori theories can be accepted. The 
imitative patterns invoked by Montelius and Sophus 
Mtiller were not introduced by the ancient smiths in 
pious memory of effete devices, but to make a new type 


of tool look as like as possible the accustomed model of 
each region, a model with which it was in active com- 
petition. Quite possibly the origin of the socketed celt 
is to be sought outside Europe. There were in Mesopo- 
tamia cutting tools, adzes rather than axes, made out of 
a sheet of metal whose sides were folded round so as 
to form a tubular socket. Similar implements are known 
from South Russia, and in the Evans Collection at 
Oxford is a socketed gouge from Dalmatia formed on 
this principle. 

The centre where European socketed celts were first 
made has not been exactly determined. The oldest 
actual examples would be some Danish ones assigned 
to the Middle Bronze Age. In general the socketed 
celt belongs to the Late Bronze Age. 


The Egyptians, owing probably to the kinds of 
timber available, did not fix their axe-heads into a split 
stick but bound them on to a shaft by lashings round 
and across the head. To facilitate attachment, lugs, 
continuing the line of the butt, grow out of it on either 
side by Middle Kingdom times if not before (6) (Fig. 5, 
no, i). Stone axe-heads of the same form have been found 
in Egypt, Central Asia and America. 


Adzes in general follow the same lines of evolution as 
the foregoing types of axe-heads. The adze may be 
narrower and sometimes there is a difference in the 
slope of one face(6). Take a cross-section along the 
length of the implement and draw an imaginary line 
from the blade to the middle of the butt. Then in an axe 



the angles made by the two faces with this line must be 
equal, otherwise each blow will go crooked. In an adze 
no such symmetry about the major axis is necessary. 
The real distinction between an axe and an adze is, 
however, the method of hafting which can seldom be 
determined from an inspection of the head. Almost 
any form of celt could be converted into an adze by 
merely turning the blade through a right angle, e.g. 
in the case of a knee-shaft by splitting the spur at right 
angles to the main branch instead of in a line with it. 
Still in Europe the transverse hafting of the celt to make 
it do duty as an adze was falling into desuetude in the 
later part of the Bronze Age. To avoid it the smiths cast 
palstaves and late winged celts in which the blade was 
at right angles to the concave faces that received the 
haft's prongs (Fig. 3, no. 9). 

In addition to these simple variants on the axe-head, 
we should note here one or two peculiar types of celt 
that generally served as adzes. The proto-dynastic 
Egyptian adzes and one or two Elamite examples have 
rounded heads (or butts). Under the Old Kingdom 
and still more in Middle Kingdom times this rounded 
head was separated from the body by a marked concave 
neck (Fig. 5, no. 2). 

In the earliest Indian chisels(s) the blade expands 
slightly till about one-quarter of its length from the 
butt, then contracts abruptly after a sharp shoulder 
only to expand again towards the edge. Some adzes of 
this pattern have been found in Late Minoan Crete 
and elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean region. 
A flat celt, developed from this type, in which the neck 
makes a right angle with the shoulders is common in 
Late Bronze Age hoards in Sicily and Southern Italy. 
From it grows the trunnion celt or lug-adze where the 

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shoulders have become definite lugs, projecting on 
either side, a type belonging for the most part to the 
Hallstatt Iron Age. Its growth, however, interlocks 
with that of the Sardinian flat celts with two lateral 
loops already mentioned in discussing palstaves (90). 


Like the adzes, the chisels follow closely the evolution 
of the celt; the essential feature is the narrowness of 
the blade. We thus have flat chisels, flanged chisels, 
flanged chisels with a stop-ridge (very narrow palstaves) 
and socketed chisels as well as lugged chisels. Late in 
the Bronze Age of Italy, France and Great Britain 
tanged chisels appear, probably developed out of 
shouldered chisels such as we found in most ancient 
India(s). The earlier variant, found even with palstaves, 
closely resembles the square-shouldered adze in outline, 
though the whole tool is naturally more slender, the 
tang relatively longer and more tapering, while the 
blade expands very markedly. In the latest Bronze Age 
the tang is not only narrower but also thinner than the 
portion below the shoulder; in fact it projects from a 
flat surface which would engage the end of a tubular 
wood or bone handle in which the implement must have 
been held (Fig. 5, no. 6). 

Gouges are just chisels with a hollow edge. Imple- 
ments of this type are known in stone from the Balkans 
and Russia and in flint from Scandinavia. Copper 
chisels with a concave blade are known very early in 
Mesopotamia, from Troy II and from Copper Age 
graves in South Russia. True socketed gouges, resembling 
socketed chisels with a concave blade, are very common 
in the Late Bronze Age all over Europe. But it will be 
remembered that gouges with the sockets formed by 


rolling over the metal to form a tube have been found 
in a Dalmatian hoard. In general it should be noted that 
socketed chisels and gouges spread more rapidly and 
earlier than socketed celts (axes). For example, a lake 
village at Alpenquai near Zurich yielded five socketed 
chisels and one socketed gouge but no socketed celts; 
their place was taken by twenty-seven examples of 
the supposedly older winged type. 


It is curious that the modern type of axe-head that 
fits on to, not into, the shaft had a very limited distribu- 
tion down to the later Iron Age. The expedient of 
providing a hole in the axe-head, parallel to the blade, 
was indeed known in Mesopotamia in prediluvian 
times (8). It was also adopted in Crete and the Aegean 
islands, in Hungary and Russia at the beginning of 
the Metal Age in each area and occasionally in Scandi- 
navia, Sicily, Southern Italy, Sardinia and Anatolia. 
On the other hand, this practical type of metal axe-head 
was, apart from stray imports, never adopted in Egypt 
nor yet in any part of Central or Western Europe till 
late in the Iron Age. Even in Hungary the shaft-hole 
axe was practically ousted by the socketed celt in the 
Late Bronze Age, 

The shaft-hole axe is apparently a Sumerian invention. 
Certainly before 3000 B.C. the Sumerians were casting 
excellent axe-heads with a tube for the shaft reinforced 
by rings around it and a ridge at the back opposite and 
parallel to the blade (Fig. 6, no. i). Of course the 
manufacture of such an axe required the use of a two- 
valve mould and a movable core; probably the ridge at 
the back was originally suggested by the seam, though 
in practice enlarged to give additional strength at a 


weak point. Allied types were soon adopted also in 
Syria. There and in Mesopotamia a curious battle-axe 
with a very narrow blade was in use during the third 
and second millennia. The South Russian and Hun- 
garian copper axes for the most part resemble the 
Sumerian in having a tubular shaft-hole clearly dis- 
tinguished in profile from the blade (Fig. 6, no. 3). 
Viewed from above, however, it is seen that the sides of 
the blade (meeting naturally at the edge) form tangents 
to the shaft-hole. This peculiarity they share with the 
early Aegean axes. But such have no tubular extension 
round the shaft-hole and so look rather like extrava- 
gantly thick celts with a perforation joining their sides 
near the end. The Sicilian and some Russian types con- 
form to the Aegean pattern. The Hungarian axes of 
the Middle Bronze Age, however, are extraordinarily 
like mature Mesopotamian types. 


Side by side with the weapon described at the be- 
ginning of the last paragraph, the inhabitants of the 
Tigris-Euphrates valleys from the earliest historical 
periods to the beginning of the Iron Age used an 
implement identical with the foregoing in respect of its 
tubular shaft-socket but with the blade turned at right 
angles to the shaft (Fig. 6, no. 2). This odd type was 
confined to Babylonia and Assyria with the exception of 
one specimen from a grave in the Kuban valley north 
of the Caucasus and one from Syria, 


The Minoans of Crete preferred an axe with two 
blades in the same plane and the shaft-hole midway 
between them. This weapon, which was possibly derived 



Fig. 6. (i) Early Sumerian axe, Ur. 

(2) Sumerian transverse axe, Ur. 

(3) Copper axe, Hungary. 

(4) Symbolic double-axe, Rhine. 

(5) Axe-adze, Crete, Middle Minoan. 

(6) Axe-adze, Hungary, "Copper Age' 



in the last resort from Mesopotamia, became a cult 
symbol in the Minoan religion and was in practical 
use throughout the Aegean world from Early Minoan 
times. There are isolated examples from Hungary, 
South Russia and Sardinia, the latter with a tubular 
extension of the shaft-hole. In France, Switzerland and 
Germany a few double-axes of copper are known whose 
central perforation is too small to take a real shaft. 
They must then be symbolic and perhaps served as 
ingots or units of weight (p. 53). In the same connection 
we may mention an odd implement manufactured in 
Saxo-Thuringia during the Early Bronze Age. It 
resembles a double-axe in having two rather blunt 
blades in the same plane and a shaft-hole between them, 
but its edges are absurdly narrow (40. 


In the Aegean (12) we find from Early Minoan times 
a tool resembling a double-axe in which one blade has 
been twisted round till it lies transversely to the shaft 
and the other blade (Fig. 6, no. 5). A similar type is 
known from Persia and there is an example from the 
Kuban which, owing to the character of the shaft-tube, 
looks exactly like a combination of the two Sumerian 
axe-types on a single shaft. Axe-adzes are distinctive 
of the Copper Age of Hungary (40. Here, it is said, 
the shaft-hole has not been made by casting but by 
punching through the red-hot metal. Later the imple- 
ment reached Sardinia, perhaps from Hungary since 
the Sardinian examples all have a short tubular projection 
round the shaft-hole, a feature noticeable on many 
Hungarian specimens (Fig. 6, no. 6) but strange to the 
Aegean series. Contemporary with the axe-adzes in 
Hungary was a sort of axe-hammer that might have been 


made by breaking off the transverse blade of an axe-adze 
near the shaft-hole. 


This designation is conventionally restricted to a 
group of axes with spikes or knobs for the butts that 
are virtually confined to Hungary and Scandinavia. In 
Hungary there are two main types: in one the blade 
expands slightly towards the edge while the butt 
terminates in a disc. During the Middle Bronze Age 
this disc is flat or slightly convex; in the Late Bronze 
Age a large spike projects from it. The other type, 
confined to the Middle Bronze Age, has a very narrow 
blade, a long tube for the shaft and a fan-shaped butt. 
Both types may be richly decorated with engraved 
scroll patterns. The comparatively rare Danish battle- 
axes are considerably more massive and generally have 
a knobbed butt. The majority belong to the Middle 
Bronze Age and are ornamented with engraved spirals. 


Almost more important for typological chronology 
than the celts are the daggers, rapiers and swords. The 
first-named weapons, many of which also served as 
knives, were current from the beginning of the Metal 
Age throughout the Old World, The important features 
in the dagger are the shape of the blade in plan, the 
provision made against crumpling up under the weight 
of a thrust (securing longitudinal rigidity) and the 
attachment of the hilt. The most primitive form of 
dagger has a roughly triangular blade that is nearly flat 
on both faces. Triangular daggers are as a rule extremely 
short, very rarely attaining a length of 6 inches. Any 
increase in the length must be accompanied by an 


inconvenient widening of the base if the weapon was 
not to buckle under the weight of the thrust, unless the 
increased length were counterbalanced by a thickening 
of the blade. And, as the dagger was a stabbing weapon, 
the weight of the blade had to be kept down to preserve 
the proper balance. A considerable increase of length 
was, however, possible if the edges were kept parallel 
for some distance below the hilt before tapering off 
to a point. This produced the so-called ogival dagger 
(Fig. 7, no. 7), Both types could be cast in an open 

An extension of the blade without undue increase in 
width, thickness or weight was, however, permitted by 
casting a thick stout ridge running down the centre 
of course in a two-piece mould. This central ridge is 
termed a midrib and greatly diminished the danger of 
buckling without affecting the penetrating power (Fig. 7, 
nos. 4, 5). 

All daggers were provided with hilts of wood, horn, 
ivory or metal. Except in certain Copper Age types the 
hilts were affixed to the blades by rivets. The hilt, 
consisting either of a single piece, slitted longitudinally 
to slip over the blade, or of two pieces, united by nails 
or lashings, might be attached directly to the butt of 
the blade or on to a tongue-like projection of the latter, 
termed a tang. This gives a distinction between tanged 
and tangless daggers. The tang may be either wiry, in 
fact a sort of prolongation backwards of the midrib, or 
flat, but is always narrower than the butt from which it 
projects like a neck with shoulders on either side. The 
butt or heel may be either a straight line along the 
widest part of the blade forming the base of the triangle, 
or a triangular, trapeze-shaped or semicircular projection 
of the blade behind that line. When neither rivets nor 



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tang were employed to secure the hilt, the backward 
projection of the blade had to be relatively long to 
prevent waggling. In a curious Copper Age dagger 
from Western Europe (Fig. 7, no. 2) it is so long as to 
resemble a tang, but, since its edges form continuous 
lines from the base of the blade proper, this type should 
be assigned to the tangless class. In Egyptian tangless 
daggers, most Aegean types, and all continental Euro- 
pean models the broad base of the hilt enveloped the butt 
on either side leaving a semicircular space in the middle 
(Fig. 7, nos. i, 3, 6). This feature is traceable even 
on the hilts of flint blades in predynastic Egypt. It is 
conspicuous on bronze-hilted blades in Europe (Fig. 7, 
no. 6) and is recognizable on many others, whose hilts 
have perished, by the marks they may have left a 
feature always to be looked for as soon as the blade is 
found. In the case of Asiatic daggers, which are nearly 
always tanged, no similar overlapping is observable. 
Often, however, a metal ferrule is fitted over the butt 
of the blade and the base of the hilt to mask and 
strengthen the join. 

The earliest known Egyptian dagger, dating from 
Middle Predynastic times, is flat and triangular with a 
triangular heel, so that the blade as a whole is rhomboid. 
The earliest Mesopotamian daggers, on the contrary, 
are tanged and generally strengthened with a midrib 
(Fig. 7, no. 4). Very early specimens are already ogival 
in outline. Throughout Asia Minor as far as Troy II 
daggers of the same general pattern are current. 

In Crete some Early Minoan daggers are flat and 
reminiscent of predynastic Egypt, but the midrib was 
soon employed, and examples with a broad, flat tang are 
quite early. The midrib was very pronounced also in 
Cypriote and Cycladic daggers. In Cyprus a very 


curious form grew up in which the midrib was prolonged 
into a long tang bent over at the top (Fig. 7, no. 5). 
The type, which appeared already in Early Aegean 
times and lasted till the Late Mycenaean period in the 
island, was exported to Palestine, Syria, Anatolia and 
Hungary (18). Weapons, of very similar form but with 
slits in the blade, as if they had been hafted as spear- 
heads, are known from the Cyclades and Troy II (8). 

In Middle Aegean times ogival daggers were in use 
both in Crete and by the Minyans of Greece. In 
M.M. I deposits we meet a tanged ogival dagger with 
slight flanges round the shoulders and bordering the 
tang. It formed the starting-point for an important 
series of daggers and rapiers of later Minoan times. The 
flanges, of course, served to keep in place the plates of 
wood or ivory that formed the grip of the hilt. 

The regular series of continental European daggers 
begins in the Early Bronze Age with a small flat 
triangular round-heeled blade, often adorned with 
groups of grooves parallel to the edges (Fig. 7, no. 3). 
Before the end of the period such weapons were being 
provided with hilts of bronze, cast separately, in North 
Italy, the Rhone valley and Central Europe (Fig. 7, 
no. 6). In Germany imitations were manufactured with 
hilts cast in one piece with the blades. From Brittany 
and England a couple of contemporary daggers have 
survived whose wooden hilts were studded with hun- 
dreds of tiny gold nails. 

During the Middle Bronze Age an ogival dagger or 
short sword was evolved out of the foregoing types in 
the Rhone valley, preserving their characteristic decora- 
tion, rounded heel and flat section. The standard 
Central European type of this period, however, may 
have had a different origin, for it has an angular trapeze- 

Fig. 8. Rapiers and swords. All J 

(1) Mycenae, Shaft Graves, M.M. Ill, type I. 

(2) Mycenae, Shaft Graves, M.M. Ill, type II a. 

(3) Mycenae, Shaft Graves, M.M. Ill, type II b. 

(4) Crete, Zafer Papoura, L.M. Ill, cruciform guards. 

(5) Crete, Zafer Papoura, L.M. Ill, horned guards. 

(6) South-western Germany, Middle Bronze Age. 

(7) Hungary, Late Bronze Age. 

(8) Bavaria, Middle Bronze Age. 

(9) Hungary, Late Bronze Age. 
(10) Morigen sword, Switzerland, 
(n) Antennae sword, Switzerland. 

(iz) Hallstatt sword of bronze, Early Iron Age, Austria. 





shaped butt, and often a distinct, if generally broad 
and low, midrib and lacks all ornamentation (Fig. 7, 
no. 7). In the earlier specimens (43) the heel is relatively 
broad and carries six rivets ; later it is narrowed down 
and the number of rivets reduced till in the Late Bronze 
Age only two survive. In the latter period, too, a few 
specimens with flanged tangs, inspired by Mycenaean 
models, appear. 


Rapiers, as noted, appear to be an Aegean invention. 
Orientals shrank from the close fighting in which alone 
such weapons are useful, while the continental bar- 
barians of Europe lacked as yet the metallurgical skill 
necessary for their forging. The earliest known rapier, 
recently found at Mallia in Crete and dating from 
M.M.I (circa 19506.0.) is over 90 cm. long. The 
blade has a stout, wide midrib. The hilt, of ivory plated 
with gold, meets the blade in a slightly convex line (an 
Asiatic as opposed to Egyptian feature) and is sur- 
mounted by a long pear-shaped pommel of crystal 
(also very Sumerian lookingda)). The regular Minoan 
series only begins some centuries later with the Shaft 
Graves of Mycenae belonging to the close of M.M. Ill 
(about 1600 B.C.). By that date three distinct types are 
known: (I) a relatively flat blade of elongated ogival 
outline with a flat tang (Fig. 8, no. i); huge tapering 
blades with a skewer-like midrib terminating either, 
(II a) in a round heel from which projects a short 
narrow tang (Fig. 8, no. 2), or (II ) in a square butt 
with wider tang, both shoulders and tang being flanged 
(Fig. 8, no. 3). All were balanced by heavy pommels of 
crystal or semi-precious stone to receive which a spur 
projects from the tang of II b. The latter 's grip con- 


sisted of plates, let in between the hilt's flanges and held 
in place by large gold-capped rivets. The grip of II a 
was supported by gold mounts fitting over the heel. 
These already have projections at the shoulder serving 
as guards to divert from the gripping hand the ad- 
versary's weapon when the rapier was parrying a thrust. 
A short length of the edges, just below the butt, was 
intentionally blunted so that the thumb and forefinger 
of the swordsman's hand might rest there a feature 
known as the ricassodi). 

Later, the flanges on the shoulder of type II b 
were developed into lateral horn-like (L.M. II and 
L.M. Ill a) or cruciform (L.M. Ill) projections like- 
wise serving as guards (30 (Fig. 8, no. 4). Late in 
L.M. Ill #, too, the flange was carried right round the 
hilt so as to support also the pommel. One or two 
rapiers of the last-named variety have been found north 
of the Alps'towards the close of the Middle Bronze Age. 

The continental European rapiers that begin in the 
Middle Bronze Age might be regarded as mere pro- 
longations of the ogival dagger. The early specimens 
have six rivet-holes for the attachment of the hilt 
(Fig. 8, no. 6). Such weapons, which rarely reach a 
length of 60 cm., are common in Central Europe and 
Scandinavia and even reach Great Britain. In the latter 
country two-piece moulds for their manufacture have 
actually been found. As in the case of the daggers, the 
butts of these weapons grew narrower as time went on, 
yielding in the Late Bronze Age a form with a tapering 
butt and three rivet-holes, well represented in South- 
west Germany, Switzerland and France and occurring 
sporadically in Hungary and Italy (Fig. 8. no. 7). A 
contemporary Italian and French variant has a rod-like 
tang terminating in a hook rather like a Cypriote 



dagger. The above series was, I believe, inspired by 
Aegean models. Yet in South-eastern Spain we find, 
associated with Early Bronze Age celts and daggers, a 
short flat sword that is clearly just a magnified dagger, 
preserving the comparatively flat section and round heel 
of the Early Bronze Age type (2). 

Some of the above-mentioned rapier types in Italy, 
Central Europe and Scandinavia are provided with 
bronze hilts, cast on, or cast in one piece with, the blade. 
Early in the Middle Bronze Age (Reinecke B) the hilts 
are cylindrical or, in South-west Germany, concave 
(Fig. 8, no. 8). Later in the same period (Reinecke C) 
a type with octagonal hilt, richly decorated with engraved 
patterns, arose in the Upper Danube basin. Contem- 
porary Danish sword-hilts are superbly decorated with 
inlaid spiral patterns. Still later (Reinecke D) the hilts 
begin to swell out in the middle, but concurrent changes 
in the shape of the blade indicate that we are now 
dealing with a new weapon, the cut-and-thrust sword, 


All the weapons hitherto described were designed 
primarily for thrusting. None the less some of the 
bronze-hilted types from Scandinavia and Central 
Europe could also be swung. A real sword that can 
slash as well as thrust must have its centre of gravity 
shifted towards the blade, while for thrusting the weight 
had to be in the pommel. Certain long wide blades 
with a bulge half-way up and a short flat tang, found in 
Denmark, North Germany, Western Hungary and 
Upper Italy, seem to be aiming at this result. But a 
stroke imposes much greater strain on the joint between 
hilt and blade than does a thrust. The short-tanged type 


just described could no more grow into a reliable sword 
than the round- or square-heeled rapier. 

True swords seem to begin in a tanged blade whose 
flat tang and round shoulders are bordered with flanges, 
as in the Minoan rapiers classed as type II a. The form 
is certainly inspired by rapiers of this family, but the 
northern and Italian blades in question differ from the 
Aegean in that the edges are nearly parallel instead of 
tapering, and the midrib wide and flat so as not to impede 
a cut (Fig. 8, no. 9). In what Kossinnaos) regards as the 
earliest type, appearing in Denmark according to Sophus 
Mliller(29) in his period 2, there are no rivet-holes in the 
tang though there may be four in the heel ; lead solder 
was sometimes used to keep in place the horn plates of 
the grip. This type occurs principally in Scandinavia, 
North-eastern Germany and Upper Italy. Some Central 
European swords with rivet-holes in the tang can 
hardly be later. They begin in the closing phase of the 
Middle Bronze Age and flourish in the Late Bronze 
Age. During the latter phase the blade tends to widen 
out to a leaf-shape a barbarous weapon adapted almost 
exclusively for hacking. In late versions (Reinecke E) 
nicks are seen just below the shoulder to guard the 
thumb and forefinger resting on the blunted edge 
(ricasso) above (33). Others, however, say that the nicks 
served to prevent the blade joggling out of its scabbard. 
Sometimes also a spur projects from the end of the tang 
to hold the pommel. In some West European swords, 
belonging to a period subsequent to the pure Bronze 
Age, some of the rivet-holes are replaced by slits. In 
many of these West European swords the lower end of 
the blade has been narrowed down, apparently by filing 
away part of a leaf-shaped blade, with a most curious 
effect like a carp's tongue. 


Early versions of the flange-hilted leaf-shaped sword 
without any ricasso or even marked swelling in the blade 
are very common in Northern and Central Europe, 
Styria, Carniola and Bosnia and, as already remarked, 
even reached Greece and Egypt before 1200 B.C. (32). 
The immense majority of the late versions, however, 
come from west of the Rhine, particularly from France 
and Britain. In the latter country they, with other 
exotic types, characterize the local Late Bronze Age 
which is really largely contemporary with the Early 
Iron Age of Central Europe. There, early in the Hall- 
statt period, our bronze swords had undergone a further 
modification, losing altogether the flanges round the 
hilt and acquiring instead a widened extension thereof 
to take a conical pommel. This is the true Hallstatt 
sword, represented by only a few stray examples in 
Britain (Fig. 8, no. 12). 

Parallel to the flange-hilted sword go certain develop- 
ments of the bronze-hilted rapiers whose blades have 
been assimilated to the leaf-shaped order. Two important 
types with a swelling bronze grip of flattened oval cross- 
section were developed in Switzerland. In one variant, 
termed the antennae sword (Fig. 8, no. 1 1), the pommel 
consists of a stout bronze ribbon bent into opposing 
spirals. The type is common on both sides of the 
Alps and is found eastwards as far as Macedonia and 
Slovakia, northwards into Scandinavia and westwards 
as far as Lincolnshire. The other Swiss sword, known 
as the Morigen or Ronzano type, has a pommel shaped 
like an oval saucer (Fig. 8, no. 10). Both types begin 
in the latter half of the Late Bronze Age, Reinecke E, 
and last into the succeeding phase of the Iron Age. 
Contemporary with them in Hungary went handsome 
swords with a swelling grip decorated with raised bands 


(representing the thongs that bound the plated hilts of 
the tanged swords) and surmounted with flat or saucer- 
shaped pommels. Such swords were exported from 
Hungary to Upper Italy, Eastern France, the Rhine 
valley and Eastern Galicia. 


The rapiers and swords just described were normally 
carried in wooden sheathes which have naturally 
perished. We possess, however, some of the bronze 
chapes in which the scabbards terminated. The Middle 
Bronze Age chapes resemble little diamond-shaped 
snuffboxes or end in a loop (Fig. 9, no. i). The 
Hallstatt scabbards, on the contrary, ended in weird 
"winged chapes", a few specimens of which reached 
Britain (Fig. 9, no. 3). The type more common in 
Britain and France resembled the last named but was 
longer and lacked the great lateral wings (Fig. 9, no. 2). 


The halberd is a peculiar weapon, distinctive of the 
Early Bronze Age in certain parts of Europe. It is 
essentially a triangular dagger hafted at right angles to a 
staff. Indeed a halberd can often be distinguished from 
a dagger only by observing that the mark left by the 
haft runs across the blade. Frequently, however, the 
halberd blade is asymmetrical, i.e. the triangle that would 
enclose it is scalene and not isosceles (Fig. 9, no. 5). 

The weapon is believed to have originated in Southern 
Spain or Portugal, since certain flint blades found on 
Copper Age sites there may be best explained as hal- 
berds. It is in any case a regular element in the furniture 
of Early Bronze Age graves along the South-east coast 
of the peninsula; thence it seems to have reached Upper 

Fig, 9. (i) Looped chape, Bavaria, Middle Bronze Age. J 

(2) Chape, Scotland, Late Bronze Age. 

(3) Winged chape, Scotland, Hallstatt pattern. | 

(4) Bronze shafted halberd, Early Bronze Age, Germany. 

(5) Halberd blade, Italy, Early Bronze Age. 

(6) Middle Bronze Age sword, Denmark. 


Italy, since a few specimens have been found there, and 
the weapon is depicted, brandished by warriors, on the 
rocks of the Ligurian Alps. Finally, there is one speci- 
men, markedly asymmetrical and much incurved on 
the lower edge, from Shaft Grave IV at Mycenae, This 
halberd, though doubtless inspired by the western 
group, was a local product since its big rivet-heads 
have been gilded (12). 

Westward from Spain the device was transmitted 
across the Atlantic to Ireland. A large number of 
specimens, mostly of copper, are known from the island. 
Many have a peculiar scythe-like outline. From Ireland 
a few halberds reached England and Scotland. Thence 
the type journeyed across the North Sea and up the 
Elbe where it was adopted in Saxo-Thuringia. Some 
early halberd blades here are decorated with incised 
lines like the contemporary daggers. Subsequently a 
localized variant was created : the haft was sheathed in 
metal and its head enveloped in a bronze cowl into 
which the blade was fitted. At first the blade was 
attached by rivets ; in later specimens the cowl has been 
cast on but shows imitation rivet-heads moulded on its 
surface (Fig. 9, no. 4). These Central German halberds 
found their way, presumably by trade, to Sweden, 
Lithuania and Slovakia. But the weapon was never 
adopted in Silesia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, South- 
western Germany or France. 


While metal was scarce, missile weapons would 
naturally be tipped with flint or horn points. At the 
same time the shorter forms of dagger could easily be 
converted into lance-heads by attachment to a long 
shaft. A blade intended specifically for a spear-head, 


however, would rather have the shape of a laurel or 
willow leaf. Some sort of tang was usually needed to 
facilitate union between the blade and the shaft. In 
Mesopotamia (8), where the shafts (or at least the fore- 
shafts) were normally made from hollow reeds, the tang 
was narrow and projected from a marked shoulder at 
the base of the blade that would engage the outer edge 
of the reed. The tang in the most popular variant is 
rectangular in section and tapers off below like a modern 
poker point. Hence the name "poker-butted spear- 
head " (Fig. 10, no. i). The type begins in Sumer before 
3000 B.C. and is found also in Elam, North Syria and 
beyond the Caucasus. In South Russia it persisted 
throughout the Copper Age into the belated Late Bronze 
Age (contemporary with the Hallstatt period(ios)). 

In Egypt a specialized spear-head of metal first 
appears in early dynastic times (6). The one specimen, 
known to the author, seems really to conform to 
the tanged pattern, though it is very rough, but is 
distinguished by a very broad ferrule of sheet copper 
that originally encircled both the split end of the shaft 
and the contained tang. But metal spear-heads are very 
rare in Egypt till New Kingdom times. 

In the Cyclades during the Early Aegean period the 
shaft of split wood projected a long way down the 
blade, to which it was attached by thongs. A pair of 
slits were accordingly left in the blade to receive the 
bindings (a). From the islands the type spread to Troy II 
and across the Greek mainland to Levkasds). Towards 
the close of Middle Helladic times this slitted spear- 
head gave birth to an odd form, confined to mainland 
Greece, in which the tip (or perhaps half the tip) of the 
shaft fitted into a shoe-like socket cast on one face of 
the blade. The principal development of the spear-head 




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in the Aegean, however, starts with an Early Minoan 
type ending in a broad flat tang originally riveted into 
the shaft. During Middle Minoan times a tubular 
socket was formed by bending the edges of the tang 
round a mandril. The tube was later strengthened by 
forcing a cast ring over its lip. 

In Britain there are some kite-shaped blades of Early 
Bronze Age date terminating in a long, narrow, flat 
tang (Fig. 10, no. 2). In at least one instance a ferrule 
had been fitted over the end of the shaft in which the 
tang was embedded so as to project over the blade (Fig. 
10, no. 3). Greenwell has suggested that a true socketed 
spear-head then developed through casting the ferrule 
in one piece with the blade and suppressing the 
tang(34). The Arreton Down type of spear-head (so- 
called from a hoard found at that place in the Isle of 
Wight) conforms exactly to what might have been 
expected to result from this process. The majority of 
British spear-heads of the Middle Bronze Age, however, 
agree with contemporary continental types. The blade 
is shaped like a laurel leaf, and the tube of the socket 
(formed by core-casting) extends well into the body of 
the blade and is continued externally as a midrib to the 
point. This form of head appears in Scandinavia, Central 
Europe, Hungary and Italy at the beginning of the 
Middle Bronze Age. In the Late Bronze Age it tended 
to give way to a form with lanceolate blade. Both types 
were secured to the shaft by a pin through a hole in the 

In Britain evolution followed different lines, a pair 
of loops developing on the socket through which thongs 
wrapped round the shaft could pass. These thongs took 
the place of rivets. In the earlier examples, associated 
in hoards with the older group of palstaves, and so of 


Middle Bronze Age date, the loops stand near the 
mouth of the socket (Fig. 10, no. 4). This type is purely 
British, the few examples from North France being 
certainly imports from across the Channel, though 
single-eared spear-heads occur in the " Copper Age" of 
South Russia. Later the loops approach the base of the 
blade and finally join on to it (Fig. 10, no. 5). Examples 
even of the last phase are associated with rapiers. In 
our Late Bronze Age the loops have become either 
small eyelets near the base of the blade or semicircular 
slits, generally in the swelling part of a lanceolate blade. 
The small eyelets may still have had the same functional 
value as the ancestral loops. They can be paralleled 
on Sicilian and South Italian spear-heads of bronze 
belonging there already to the Early Iron Age. The 
curious semicircular openings (Fig, 10, no. 6), however, 
can hardly have been designed for receiving binding 
thongs; there is in fact generally a rivet-hole in the 
socket of such spear-heads. The type doubtless origi- 
nated in the British Isles though a derivation from the 
Early Cycladic slitted form has been suggested by Coffey 
(57). From Britain specimens were exported as far as 
Huelva in Spain (92), and the type somehow reached 
Central and Southern Russia. The idea was adopted 
and imitated there, moulds for the manufacture of the 
local variant having been found in the Ukraine (105). 


Metal could only be used for arrow-heads when it 
was very cheap. Actually flint and bone arrow-heads 
remained current nearly everywhere throughout the 
Bronze Age. In Egypt and Crete flint lunates were 
employed to form transverse heads. In Middle Helladic 
and Mycenaean tombs we find superb hollow-based 


(barbed) arrow-heads of flint or obsidian, and cruder 
variants on the same form are common in the Late 
Bronze Age urnfields of Central Europe. The finest 
stemmed and barbed arrow-heads of Britain and France 
belong exclusively to the Bronze Age. Barbed bone 
tips are also found in the Late Bronze Age of Italy and 
Central Europe. 

Barbed metal arrow-heads of various patterns but 
always with a long tapering tang are known from Egypt, 
Mycenaean Greece and Central Europe during the 
Middle and Late Bronze Age. In the last-named area 
the spur-like tang gradually gave way to a tubular 
socket. The Early Bronze Age graves of South-eastern 
Spain have yielded a peculiar barbless form with broad 
leaf-shaped head and a long tail-like tang. It must be 
remembered that bronze was still used for arrow-heads 
quite late in the Iron Age. 


Many flint knives of the Stone Age had probably 
been simply backed with wooden handles. Ground 
stone knives mounted in the same manner are known in 
Eastern Europe and Asia. A translation of such into 
metal would be just a strip of copper sharpened along 
one side by hammering. Such knife-blades with one 
or two rivet-holes in the back have actually been found 
in England, France and Central Russia, but generally in 
a Late Bronze Age context. 

Such tools were extremely clumsy, yet it was no easy 
matter to attach a single-edged knife to a handle so that 
it should not waggle when pressure was put upon it, 
Hence single-bladed knives are a late feature. An 
early group, represented in Old Kingdom Egypt (6) and 
Troy 1 1 (i ?), solved the problem by prolonging the back 


of the blade to form a narrow tapering tang on to which 
a tubular handle of wood or bone was fitted (Fig. 1 i, 
no. i). In Greece such implements do not appear before 
Middle Aegean times. Then the hilt was attached by 
from three to five rivets (not all in a straight line) to a 
wide butt without the use of a tang (3). Later a broad 
tang was used to support the handle. 

In Central Europe single-edged knives appear first 
towards the close of the Middle Bronze Age. All have 
arched backs, the handle being either attached by a rivet 
to a spur continuing the line of the back (Fig. 1 I, no. 2) 
or cast in one piece with the blade. In the Late Bronze 
Age the variety of types is multiplied. The blade is either 
straight or recurved. The handle may be of bronze 
terminating in a loop and inlaid on either face with 
horn plates held in position by a series of metal tabs; 
alternatively a wooden handle was fitted into a tubular 
socket (Fig. 11, no. 5) or, as in the previous period, 
on to a long spur (Fig. 1 1, no. 6). In Switzerland was 
manufactured the curious variant of the latter group, 
with a section of solid metal where the ball of the 
hand rested, shown in (Fig. n, no. 7). The type, that 
belongs to Reinecke's phase E, was exported as far as 
Silesia, Hungary and Central France (41). 

In Great Britain single-edged knives are virtually 
unknown. But it must be remembered that the short 
daggers could be, and doubtless were, used as knives. 
They are indeed often termed, very properly, knife- 
daggers. In fact some protodynastic Egyptian, Late 
Minoan and Early Bronze Age British " daggers" are 
rounded off at the point so that their use as daggers is 

In the British Isles the round-pointed knives of the 
Early Bronze Age, that with their round heels and 



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numerous rivets are so patently allied to the more 
pointed " daggers", form the starting-point for two 
specialized knives of our Late Bronze Age. The first 
has a long blade and a short flat tang, nearly as wide as 
the blade, that generally bears two rivets (Fig. 1 I, no. 8). 
The second, but that it is found associated with the 
first, might be regarded as evolved therefrom by the 
addition of a ferrule like the socketed spear-heads of 
the Arreton Down class; for it is characterized by an 
elliptical socket with one or two pairs of rivet-holes, 
that looks just what might have developed out of such a 
combination with the hypothetical ferrule (Fig. n, 
no. 9). Such forms, though commonest in the British 
Isles and probably native there, are also found in 
Northern France and as far south as Charente. 

Related to our socketed knives is a curious socketed 
instrument whose leaf-shaped blade is bent round in a 
semicircle. Outside Great Britain the type is found in 
Normandy and perhaps Switzerland (Fig. 1 1, no. 10). 


It is quite possible to shave with a flint blade, and 
some predynastic flints were undeniably utilized in this 
way. The early Egyptian metal razors exactly copy 
these flint forms. One type, confined to the Early 
Dynastic period, was rectangular with four bevelled 
edges. Another form, going back to Late Predynastic 
times, looks like a broad double-edged knife with a short 
tang. Probably most were sharpened along one edge 
only as is certainly the case with the specimens from 
Queen Hetep-heres' tomb. A very similar little imple- 
ment has recently been found in early Sumerian tombs. 
The Mesopotamian razors, always unfortunately in bad 
preservation, are regularly found in pairs; it is uncertain 



whether both edges were sharp. In the Aegean area the 
earliest certain razors date from the L.M. Ill period. 
The majority are one-edged (Fig. 12, no. i) but there 
are double-edged specimens in which the handle was 
riveted directly on to the blade without a tang. 

The majority of European razors belong to the same 
family. In the earlier graves of the so-called Siculan II 
period, containing Mycenaean vases imported from 
Greece, we find a long blade with slightly concave sides 
and an indentation at the lower end (Fig. 12, no. 3). 
The purpose of the indent was perhaps to allow the 
forefinger to feel the skin while shaving. In any case 
it is a prominent feature in nearly all European double- 
edged razors. In contemporary North Italian imple- 
ments the indent is much more pronounced, and, above, 
a wide slit separates the two blades. An openwork 
handle, generally terminating in a loop and cast in one 
piece with the blade, was attached to these Italian 
razors (Fig. 12, no. 5). They belong to the Middle 
Bronze Age. Rather later a small group of razors 
appears in Franconia and Western Bohemia with a very 
broad double-edged blade, sometimes at least divided 
by a slit near the end, and an openwork handle cast in 
one piece with it (Fig. 12, no. 6). Crude razors of this 
pattern are found at a relatively later date in Holland 
and Eastern France (Ni&vre and Rhone). But the 
contemporary Central European razors of phase E have 
already grown into developed horseshoe-shaped blades 
(Fig. 12, no. 7). 

In Upper Italy, on the other hand, during the Late 
Bronze Age and first phase of the Early Iron Age 
(Villanova culture), the razor assumes a rectangular 
outline, preserving the indent in the lower end as an 
almost circular aperture and provided with a loop of 





twisted wire riveted on to the blade as handle (Fig. 12, 
no. 8). The same type is found in South Italy and Sicily, 
but in that island a type, derived from the earlier native 
form, but with wider blade, more pronounced slit 
between the edges and a flat tang for handle, is also 
encountered in the later tombs of the Siculan II period. 
Similar forms occur in Southern France (Arige and 
Charente) and probably give a clue to the ancestry of 
our British razors (as). 

The latter resemble a maple leaf in form. A tang 
to take the handle projects from the base of the blade 
and is often continued downwards by a wide midrib 
along its face. In the opposite end is a deep V-shaped 
indent and just behind it a circular eyelet. Though 
generally Late Bronze Age in date, one such blade, 
though without the round eyelet, was found with rapiers 
and palstaves in Scotland (60). It is generally believed that 
these razors belong to the group of foreign forms 
introduced into Britain by invaders arriving at the 
beginning of the Late Bronze Age. The affinities of 
our razors in any case seem to lie rather with Sicily 
and the Western Mediterranean than with the countries 
east of the Rhine. 

While the standard European razors of the Bronze 
Age were double-edged, there is a series in Scandinavia 
with only one blade. Such are doubtless in the last 
resort derived from the normal Mycenaean implement 
(Fig. 12, no. n, cf. i). 


Another surer but certainly more painful method of 
removing the facial hairs was to pull them out with 
tweezers. Depilatory tweezers, formed essentially of a 
bronze ribbon bent double and rather wider at the ends 


than at the middle, were largely used in predynastic 
Egypt and precede razors in Crete and the Cyclades, 
appearing there in Early Aegean times. In Central 
Europe and Scandinavia, tweezers, allied to the fore- 
going, were adopted in the Middle Bronze Age, slightly 
preceding the razors, though curiously enough razors 
and tweezers are not seldom found together in the same 
grave. Such metal tweezers are very rare in Britain but 
appear at the same time as the razors in the Late Bronze 

A different type of tweezer, consisting of two strips 
of metal brazed together, was current in Mesopotamia 
and India about 3000 B.C. They are found as components 
of toilet-sets, hung on a ring together with a pricking 
instrument and an ear-scoop (8). As their ends are very 
narrow, these Asiatic tweezers probably served a 
different purpose to the Egyptian, perhaps catching 
lice. Structurally, a curious pair of bone tweezers from 
an Early Bronze Age grave in England resembles the 
Asiatic group. 


All metal sickles go back in the last resort to the 
so-called jaw-bone sickle formed by inserting serrated 
flint blades into the dental cavity of some domestic 
animal. No jaw-bones thus equipped have ever been 
found, but Egypt has yielded a wooden mount, armed 
with flints, shaped in imitation of a jaw-bone, and 
similarly formed clay sickles are common in prediluvian 
deposits in Mesopotamia. As a result of this origin a 
hollow arc-shaped cutting edge is universal in the metal 
sickles, but three main groups can be distinguished by 
the method of hafting the blade. 

In the oldest Mesopotamian metal sickle the blade 


was continued into a flat tang which was doubled over 
to form a loop. The same type is found in Anatolia in 
Troy VI, and a variant appears in the Late Bronze Age 
of the Caucasus and Transylvania. 

In the commonest North European type, found also 
in Southern Germany, Bohemia, Eastern France and 
England, there is no tang. The blade is reinforced by a 
couple of ridges parallel to it on the back, and the handle 
is attached with the aid of a knob projecting on one face 
near the butt. It is therefore termed the button sickle 
(Fig. 13, no. i). This type certainly goes back to the 
Middle Bronze Age. 

During the Late Bronze Age it was replaced in 
France and Central Europe by a type of Italian or 
Hungarian origin. In the latter the form of the blade 
is the same, but the button is replaced by a wide tang 
that makes an angle with the blade. The handle was 
attached by a rivet and is kept in place by a pair of ridges 
running along the edges of the tang (Fig. 13, no. 2). 

The socketed sickle may have been evolved out of 
the foregoing, since its tubular socket makes a similar 
angle with the blade. The type was certainly invented in 
the British Isles where it is common in hoards of the 
Late Bronze Age (Fig. 13, no. 3). Stray specimens, 
presumably British exports, occur beyond the Channel 
in Northern France, the Swiss lake-dwellings and Upper 
Italy. The device even reached Sardinia where a local 
variant on it occurs. 


The harnessing of animal motive power was, as 
already remarked, one of the most momentous achieve- 
ments of the Bronze Age. Yet of all the gear that must 
have been used in the application of that new motive 



Fig. 13. (i) Button sickle, England, Middle Bronze Age. 

(2) Grooved sickle, Italy, Middle Bronze Age. 

(3) Socketed sickle, Ireland, Late Bronze Age. 

(4) Hooked sickle, Transylvania, Late Bronze Age. 

(5) Bugle-shaped object from harness, England, Late Bronze Age. 

(6) Reconstruction of bit with horn cheek-pieces and wooden bar. 

(7) Jointed bronze bit, Swiss lakes, Late Bronze Age. All J 


power the only recognizable elements that have come 
down to us from Bronze Age Europe are bits, or to be 
exact, portions of bits, 

It is still uncertain how the Sumerians controlled the 
asses that drew their early chariots. Even as late as 
the Eighteenth Dynasty in Egypt it is possible that the 
chariot horses were governed merely by nose-ropes; 
for though several royal tombs have yielded us chariots 
and harness, no bits have as yet come to light. The 
earliest known metal bit comes from a Late Mycenaean 
tomb at Mycenae. Like modern bits, it consisted of a 
jointed metal rod that passed between the horse's jaws. 
But in addition it was equipped at either end with flat 
pieces of metal, termed cheek-pieces, to which the reins 
were attached by loops. When the reins were drawn 
tight the cheek-pieces would compress the animal's 
jaws, the pain in the case before us being augmented by 
metal spikes on the inner faces of the cheek-pieces (6). 

No such metal bits are known during the pure 
Bronze Age of continental Europe. But from the 
"terremare" of Upper Italy and Middle Bronze Age 
deposits in Hungary, Germany and Sweden we possess 
pieces of tine or horn with several perforations that are 
believed to have been attached as cheek-pieces to the 
ends of a bar of wood or a stout twisted strip of hide 
that constituted the bit proper (Fig. 13, no. 6). Similar 
horn cheek-pieces become quite common in the Late 
Bronze Age and even reach Britain in company with 
other continental types. But in Switzerland and 
Scandinavia by that phase of the Late Bronze Age, 
termed by Reinecke Hallstatt A (Bronze Age E), and in 
the contemporary Early Iron Age deposits of Upper 
Italy, bronze bits were being already manufactured. 
These all have metal cheek-pieces, generally bent rods 


with loops at the sides or slits through them to take 
the reins (Fig. 13, no. 7). Only later in the Hallstatt 
period do we meet examples of the modern form of bit 
terminating in rings. 


The ornaments worn during the Bronze Age are far 
too varied to be discussed in detail. They are, moreover, 
specialized into local groups that can best be mentioned 
later in dealing with the several cultures. Some, how- 
ever, throw an unique light on cultural relations or 
serve as invaluable chronological guides. Such must 
be briefly described here. 


Pins were used for fastening garments over a curiously 
restricted area during the earlier parts of the Bronze 
Age. Their use must obviously be correlated with a 
particular costume an untailored cloak or mantle, 
worn over the shoulders and fastened in front by one 
or two pins. As a matter of fact ancient representations 
or lucky finds in peat-bogs afford positive proof of the 
wearing of such a garb among the Sumerians and the 
prehistoric Danes. Pins, and the dress they imply, 
were worn in Mesopotamia from the earliest Sumerian 
times and then throughout Asia Minor and Anatolia. 
They were also freely used in the Cyclades and on the 
Greek mainland during Early Aegean times, but only 
very rarely and in an immature form in Crete. Pins 
are equally rare in centres of metallurgy connected with 
maritime trade westward Sicily, Sardinia, Spain and 
Britain. On the other hand they were adopted together 
with metallurgy in Central Europe, whence the local 
types spread widely as a result of ethnic movements. 


To keep the pin in position a thread was passed 
through or tied on to its head, looped round the fold of 
the stuff to be fastened, and the end wound round the 
shaft again. The devices employed for attaching the 
thread provide the most workable basis for a classifica- 
tion of pins. 


In this class the head itself is a loop through which 
the thread may be passed. The simplest way of making 
such a pin is to take a piece of wire and bend over 
the top end or head. Generally the head is hammered 
out flat before being bent over. 1 The result is termed 
a roll-head pin (Rollennadel) (Fig. 14, no. i). Such 
are found from the earliest times in Sumer and through- 
out the Asiatic Bronze Age province and its Central and 
North European extensions, A natural development of 
this is the shepherd's-crook pin distinctive of the Bronze 
Age in East Central Europe. A roll-head pin might be 
made more ornate by simply widening the flat head. 
From merely broadening the head materially in this way 
arises the racket pin (Rudernadel}. This variant is found 
in Sumer before 3000 B.C. (Fig. 14, no. 3), then in the 
Early and Middle Bronze Ages of Hungary and Central 
Europe and later in the Caucasus, In the Early Bronze 
Age of Central Europe the decorative effect was further 
enhanced by trimming off the angles of the flat plate 
till it became a perfect circle (a little tang being left 
projecting opposite the shaft to form the loop), the 
disk pin (Scheibennadel}. The disk is often decorated 
with an engraved cross. By casting the disk as an 

1 At first this flat head may just have been part of the original ribbon 
from which the wire was manufactured by the torsion process described 
on p. 37. 


openwork wheel with an ear to represent the original 
folded loop, the wheel pin was created in the Rhine 
valley during the Middle Bronze Age (Fig. 14, no. 4). 
The type was exported throughout Central Europe as 
far as Upper Italy, Poland and Denmark. 

An earlier variant of the disk pin, also formed by 
trimming up a racket pin, was the trefoil pin of the 
Rhone valley. The bilobate and trilobate pins of the 
Middle Bronze Age in Upper Italy may be derived 
from it in the same way as the wheel pin from the disk 

A safer loop might be produced on a wire pin by 
bending the top over and twisting it round the shaft, 
producing the knot-headed pin (SMeifennadef). The 
principle was known both in predynastic Egypt, in 
early Sumer and in prehistoric cities on the Indus. It 
was applied to the manufacture of pins in Cyprus and 
Troy II. Thence the type was diffused up the Danube to 
Hungary, Bohemia and Silesia, where it became common 
from the beginning of the age of metals and throughout 
the Middle Bronze Age (Fig. 14, no. 5). By imitating 
the knot-headed pin in a casting the Aunjetitz pin 
(Bohmische Osennadef} was created in Bohemia. It 
had an inverted conical head surmounted by a cast 
loop or ear (Fig. 14, no. 6). The ring-headed pin seems 
a later derivative of the same fundamental type. 


In a second series the thread was passed through 
a hole in the pin-shaft near its head. The shaft had t 
generally to be widened where it was pierced. In 
Mesopotamia by 3000 B.C. it was hammered out flat, 
and the flattened surface perforated (Fig, 14, no. 2). 
The wide flat part, often called the neck, is frequently 

Fig. 14. (i) Roll-headed pin, Kish, Early Sumerian. 

(2) Toggle pin, Kish, Early Sumerian. 

(3) Racket pin, Ur, Early Sumerian. 

(4) Wheel pin, South-west Germany, Middle Bronze Age. 

(5) Knot-headed pin, Bohemia, Early Bronze Age. 

(6) Aunjetitz pin, Bohemia, Early Bronze Age. 

(7) Pin with bent disk head, Bohemia, Late Bronze Age. 

(8) Sunflower pin, Ireland, Late Bronze Age. 

(9) Pin with lateral loop, England, Late Bronze Age. 
(10) Ribbed pin, Alsace, Late Bronze Age. 

(n) Vase-headed pin, Bavaria, Late Bronze Age. 

(12) Violin-bow fibula, Switzerland, Middle Bronze Age. 

(13) Simple arc fibula, Italy, Late Bronze Age. 

(14) Hungarian fibula with looped bow, Late Bronze Age. 

(15) Elbow fibula, Siculan II. 

(16) Two-piece fibula, Denmark, Middle Bronze Age. 

(17) Two-piece fibula, Denmark, Late Bronze Age. 




engraved with crosses and herring-bone patterns. Above 
the neck the shaft was normally bent over. It was 
generally surmounted with a globular bead of lapis. 
Eyelet pins with bulbous, or in Cyprus mushroom, 
heads, cast in one piece with the shaft, very early found 
acceptance in Syria, Cyprus, Troy and South Russia. 
Eyelet pins did not reach Central Europe till the Middle 
Bronze Age, but are very characteristic of that period. 
The round swollen necks of these pins are decorated 
with just the same herring-bone and cruciform patterns 
as the Sumerian pins of the fourth millennium. 

In South Germany the eyelet pins seldom have a 
specialized head. In Hungary, on the other hand, they 
are surmounted with mushroom heads. In some mush- 
room pins the eyelet is formed by a spur projecting from 
the side of the shaft to meet the (separately cast) head. 
Allied to these is a form belonging to the very end of 
the Middle Bronze Age : the flat disk head is cast apart 
from the shaft and with a socket fitted on to the bent 
shaft so that the latter is parallel to the plane of the 
disk. The eye is formed by a looped strand of finer wire, 
one end of which was cast on to the shaft, the other 
tucked into the head's socket (Fig. 14, no. 7). In its 
Bohemian home the disk was generally decorated with 
an engraved star pattern. A variant with no loop or 
eyelet reached Scandinavia in the latest Bronze Age 
there (Montelius IV and V) and Great Britain. These 
late pins, termed sunflower pins, are decorated only 
with concentric circles upon the disk (Fig. 14, no. 8). 
The sunflower pin is the only type at any time at all 
common in the British Isles till our own Iron Age 

Allied to the pins with perforated neck is a rare type 
with a lateral loop on the neck. It is found occasionally 


in Early Bronze Age graves in North Syria. Then there 
are isolated examples from Bohemia belonging to the 
very end of the Middle Bronze Age, from Denmark 
later still, from the great Iron Age cemetery at Hall- 
statt in Upper Austria and from France undated. Yet 
the type has been found in Scotland in company 
with Middle Bronze Age rapiers and palstaves and 
a razor (Fig. 14, no. 9). 

Carefully to be distinguished from the foregoing 
is the "East German eyelet pin" found in the Late 
Bronze Age urnfields. Its distinctive feature is a 
lateral spur on the neck perforated with a hole parallel 
to the shaft. It is probably derived from a pin common 
in Hungary and Central Europe in the Early and 
Middle Bronze Ages with a bulbous head perforated 
with a hole running down from the crown to the side of 
the shaft. This type may be inspired by Syrian bulb- 
headed pins. 


In a third family of pins the securing thread was merely 
twisted round the head; the latter, therefore, need not 
be perforated but is generally decorative. From ancient 
Sumerian and Early Cycladic graves come pins with 
animal heads, while others from Troy II were sur- 
mounted by miniature vases. In an important group 
extending from Turkestan to Italy the head is just a 
spiral disk. In some Early Cycladic specimens two 
spirals sprout out from the top of the shaft, and the 
same happens in Italy during the Middle Bronze Age 
and then in Central Europe, where spiral-headed pins 
are late in the Late Bronze Age. 

Indeed, throughout continental Europe loops and 
eyelets went out of fashion during the Late Bronze Age. 


The older eyelet pins are replaced by forms, often of 
gigantic size, with a collar of ribs or a big head in the 
shape of a vase, a poppy-head, a turban or a globe. Very 
distinctive of the second phase of the Late Bronze Age 
(Kraft E) are the Swiss pins whose globular heads are 
adorned with inlaid "eyes". Later, fashions changed 
again ; the giant types disappear, and the heads of the 
rest shrink. 


A logical corrolary of the pins kept in position by a 
loop of thread round the fold of clothing pierced by the 
pin was the safety-pin or brooch, technically known by the 
Latin name of fibula. There are two methods by which 
a safety-pin might be arrived at. You might take a wiry 
pin and bend back the top of the shaft over the fold 
of clothing to meet the lower part of the shaft and 
catch the point. Alternatively the thread passing 
through the eyelet of a toggle pin might be replaced by 
a length of wire which would likewise be twisted so as 
to catch the point. The first plan produces our safety- 
pin or one-piece fibula; the alternative gives rise to 
the so-called two-membered safety-pin. These two 
series seem to be independent, but both start about the 
same time, Middle Bronze Age or circa 1350 B.C., and 
moreover at opposite ends of the amber trade route. The 
one-piece safety-pin originated in Italy, Bohemia, or, 
on the latest theory, Mycenaean Greece; the two- 
membered fibula started about the same time in Den- 
mark. It is therefore on the face of it unlikely that the 
two types are really autonomous and spontaneous 



In Late Minoan Crete people wore long pins, with 
a twisted shaft but no distinct head, whose upper parts 
were just hooked over. Blinkenberg(36) and Myres(3?) 
believe that these pins were turned into fibulae by the 
simple expedient of bending the upper end into a hook 
to catch and also guard the point. This terminal hook 
is thus the prototype of the catch-plate. To make a really 
workable safety-pin the simple hooked end had to be 
modified so as to give a protection to the point, and a 
spring had to be introduced to bring the point back 
into the catch. The fibulae from pure L.M. Ill a tombs 
in Greece have a bow parallel to the pin and a catch- 
plate formed either by hammering out the end of the 
wire flat or by coiling it in a spiral (Fig. 14, no. 12). 
Such fibulae are known as the violin-bow type and form 
the starting-point for several series, developing along 
divergent lines in different regions. The greater part 
of this evolution lies outside the scope of this book, in 
the Iron Age, but some early forms may be sketched 

Violin-bow fibulae, representing the primary stage 
of the safety-pin, are found outside Greece in Middle 
Bronze Age deposits in Italy and Sicily, and rather 
later in Bosnia, the Tyrol and Switzerland. There 
are two specimens from Central Europe, alleged to 
come from Early Bronze Age graves, but the circum- 
stances of their discovery are doubtful. 

The changes affect principally the form of the bow, 
aiming at making it more ornate or capable of catching 
a thicker fold of clothing. In Greece during the My- 
cenaean period the bow was widened to a leaf-shape. 
Rather later a series of fie-ure-8 twists were introduced 


in the wire bow. The latter type occurs on both sides 
of the Adriatic and in North-western Hungary (Fig. 14, 
no. 14). In the last-named region it gave rise to a series 
of highly elaborate variants in the Late Bronze Age and 
Hallstatt period. 

The main direction of evolution went towards in- 
creasing the space between pin and bow to allow of 
more stuff being gripped. This was effected by four 
methods, giving rise to four main families that consti- 
tute the second evolutionary phase: A I, prolonging 
the catch-plate vertically, giving the asymmetrical bow 
fibula; A 2 5 bending the bow into a semicircle, producing 
the arc fibula; A 3, twisting the bow up into an elbow 
and elongating the stilt, yielding the elbow and serpen- 
tine fibulae, or A 4, adding coils to the spring, leading 
to the harp fibula. Of these only the last version 
preserves the spiral catch-plate. The first two, on the 
other hand, as well as some late violin-bow types, may 
have small shoulders or beads at either end of the bow. 

The arc fibula (Fig. 14, no. 13) appears in Greece 
already during L.M. Ill b times and in the Late Bronze 
Age of Italy and Bosnia, and leads to many variants in 
the Iron Age. The elbow fibula (a gomito] (Fig. 14, 
no. 15) is found in Sicily in graves of the Siculan II 
period slightly later than those containing Mycenaean 
vases. In the Early Iron Age of Cyprus a kindred form 
is found. A rather later Sicilian type (serpeggianti ad 
occhio) introduces a second loop at the root of the stilt 
where the elbow comes. It seems influenced by a 
version of the arc fibula, with a loop at the base of the 
catch-plate, found during the Early Iron Age in Crete 
and Illyria. Finally the harp fibula, appearing in a 
rudimentary form in the latest Bronze Age of Styria, 
characterizes the early Hallstatt period in the Eastern 


Alps and Lower Austria. Contemporary with it in 
Styria appears the earliest spectacle brooch, a type 
distinctive of the true Hallstatt culture and of the 
Geometric period in Greece. It consists of a strand of 
wire coiled into a pair of spiral disks ; from the centre of 
one the wire, sharpened to make the pin, is brought back 
across the other to engage in its end. 

The modifications introduced during phase III of 
the safety-pin's evolution include, in the case of arc 
fibulae, threading beads on to the bow or imitating such 
in metal bulbs cast on it (Greece and Italy), widening 
the catch-plate (Greece and Illyria) or lengthening it 
(Italy), introducing a second loop at the root of the 
catch-plate (Greece and Illyria, also Sicily), decorating the 
bows with raised ribs (Upper Italy and Switzerland), etc. 

These three stages can be approximately dated. 
Stage I is purely Mycenaean and accordingly begins 
before 1300 B.C.; even stage II began before the end 
of the Mycenaean age, about iioo; while stage III 
was already well advanced in sub-Mycenaean times by 
1000 B.C. 


The evolution of the two-piece fibulae follows in 
the main the same lines as that of the one-member 
group. During the first or Middle Bronze Age phase 
(Sophus Miiller, 3) the bow, either of twisted wire 
or leaf-shaped, is parallel to the pin and ends in two 
spiral disks or just two hooks. The pin is just a 
normal toggle pin with swollen, perforated neck and 
simple, club-shaped head (Fig. 14, no. 16). This 
stage is virtually confined to Denmark. During the 
Late Bronze Age divergent developments set in as the 
device spread. In Scandinavia and North Germany the 

Fig. 15. (i) Heavy ribbed armlet, Bavaria, Late Bronze Age. J 
(2) Gold armlet, Ireland, Middle to Late Bronze Age. J 

(3) Hungarian armlet, with spiral ends, Middle Bronze Age. \ 

(4) Horizontally ribbed armlet, Hungary, Middle Bronze Age. 

(5) Hooked double armlet, England, Middle Bronze Age. | 

(6) Spiral-ended anklet, Alsace, Late Bronze Age. \ 

(7) Ingot torque, Bohemia, Early Bronze Age. : { 

(8) Gold ear-ring, Troy II. J 

(9) Twisted gold armlet, England. \ 

(10) Spiral-ended finger-ring, South Germany. 

(11) Helical wire tutulus, Bavaria, Early Bronze Age. \ 

(12) Spiked tutulus, Hungary, Middle Bronze Age. J 
(13, 14) Gold lock-rings, Early and Middle Bronze Age. J 






of the Swiss lake-dwellings during the last 
phase of the Bronze Age (Kraft E). 

Bracelets with spiral ends were characteristic of East 
Central Europe, Hungary, Galicia, East Germany and 
Scandinavia during the Middle and Late Bronze Age. 
The most handsome Middle Bronze Age type in the 
former area terminates in opposed spiral disks. Such 
rings were worn on the upper arm as the traces of wear 
indicate. Later Hungarian specimens, belonging already 
to phase E of the Bronze Age, have double-spiral ends. 
A variant, also with double-spiral ends but a ribbon- 
like body decorated with cast horizontal ribs or engraved 
triangles, is, however, found already in Middle Bronze 
Age deposits of Scandinavia, South-west Germany and 

Two types of bracelet formed from a doubled piece 
of wire deserve notice. In the variety current in Central 
Europe from Early Bronze Age times the ends of the 
wire are twisted ; in a British type of the Middle Bronze 
Age, the loop where the wire is bent back is relatively 
wide and the ends are twisted over and hooked into it 
(Fig. 15, no. 5). Neither type is penannular; both 
approximate rather to the cylinders. 

Broad armlets of plate bronze, even in width all over and 
decorated with cast horizontal ribs or engraved triangles, 
appear already in the Early Bronze Age of Central 
Europe. Analogous types, generally narrower and with 
sharper ridges, are found in contemporary deposits in 
France and Britain. Such wide armlets may have taken 
the place of the stone wrist-guards worn by the archers 
of the Bell-beaker culture in the Copper Age to protect 
them from the recoil of the bow-string. The hori- 
zontally ribbed armlet persists into the Late Bronze 
Age, even reaching Scandinavia. But the later Central 


European specimens generally have rounded ends 
(Fig. 15, no. 4). 

East of the Rhine the tendency was to replace broad 
armlets by cylinders. Cylinders of narrow copper 
ribbon had been worn even in the Copper Age and, 
made of stouter ribbon, appear in Early Bronze Age 
hoards. By the Middle Bronze Age they had become 
very popular, particularly in East Germany and Hun- 
gary. Here the ribbon, hammered out to nearly an 
inch or so in width, is decorated with punctured patterns 
and strengthened with a midrib which is prolonged 
beyond either end of the ribbon and coiled into spiral 
disks. The type outlasts the Bronze Age and reappears 
in Early Iron Age graves in Italy and the Caucasus. 
Cylinders of the same structure could be worn on the 

A series of anklets, developed in the Upper Rhine 
valley, is interesting owing to its well-marked typo- 
logical evolution. The oldest form, going back to 
Reinecke's phase B, is a simple piece of stout wire 
coiled into spiral disks at either end. Next, the wire 
body is replaced by narrow ribbon, the spiral ends 
remaining wiry. Finally in phases D and E the ribbon 
of the body is widened and the wiry ends are bent back 
and carried round for one turn before being coiled into 
spirals (Fig. 1 5, no. 6). This late type reaches the Upper 
Danube on the one hand and the French Departments 
of Aube, Marne and Cote d'Or on the other. 

There remains a series of ornaments with wiry bodies, 
worn principally on the neck, which are of special 
importance owing to early parallels on the fringes of 
the Oriental civilizations. A penannular ring of stout 
wire with the ends hammered flat and bent back into 
loops (Fig. 1 6, no. 7) is represented by a number of 


specimens in a hoard found at Byblos in North Syria 
and dated roughly about 1800 B.C. There are stray 
specimens from Egypt of a similar age, and later the 
type was common in the Caucasus. Just the same rings 
are found in the very earliest Bronze Age deposits of 
Hungary and Central Europe. Here they were some- 
times worn as collars and also, as noted on p. 30, 
used as ingots. They are therefore termed ingot torques. 
From Central Europe the type reached the valleys of 
the Rhine and Rhone. Ingot torques remained current 
throughout the Bronze Age, but some of the later 
specimens are made of twisted rectangular wire, 1 a 
feature also observed on certain early Syrian specimens. 
The effect of torsion was imitated in casting on some 
European examples. 

A series of ingot torques diminishing in size might 
be fastened together by pins through the terminal loops 
to form gorgets. Composite gorgets of this pattern are 
actually found as late as phase E in South-west Germany. 
But imitations thereof in sheet bronze with the ends 
rolled up into tubes were current in Switzerland and 
Scandinavia during the Middle Bronze Age. The Swiss 
collars are decorated with engraved rectilinear patterns 
and maintain the same width throughout their circum- 
ference. The Scandinavian, on the other hand, are shaped 
so as to be widest in the middle. The earlier ones show 
horizontal ribs in front, reminiscent of the originally 
separate neck-rings, but panels at either end are richly 
ornamented with engraved spirals. Related to the 
foregoing are some collars of thin sheet gold from 
Brittany and Portugal. Instead of ribs, these exhibit in 

1 The name torque, derived from the Latin torqueo, I twist, should 
strictly be applied only to such twisted rings, but is in practice used for 
all neck-rings whether smooth or twisted. 


front, slits, reproducing the effect of the originally 
separate rings. 

A hoard found in the ruins of Troy II included a 
gold collar or bracelet of twisted rectangular wire with 
hooked ends, and a similar torque of silver wire has 
come to light in an Early Helladic grave on Levkas. 
Twisted ornaments of exactly the same pattern in bronze, 
or more often in gold, are common during the Middle 
Bronze Age in the British Isles, As an alternative to 
quadrangular wire, simple or compound ribbon was 
sometimes twisted thus (Fig. 1 6). The composite ribbon 
employed has a X -shaped section and has been made by 
bending a strip of gold ribbon at right angles longitudin- 
ally, joining two such strips along the keel and then 
twisting the result. From Great Britain these torques 
were exported to Brittany, Northern France and 
probably Scandinavia. 

In the last-named country in any case a local series, 
in which the torsion effect is generally produced by 
cast ridges, began in the Late Bronze Age. It attained 
its richest development in that belated Bronze Age that 
corresponds to the Hallstatt period farther south. By 
then the torsion was often not continuous in the same 
direction, but portions of the ring had been twisted in 
opposite ways (Fig. 17, no. 6). Finger-rings were made 
in the same style. 

Another series of British neck ornaments belonging 
to the Early Bronze Age is allied in form to the 
Scandinavian gorgets already described. I refer to the 
so-called lunulae of gold. As their name implies, they 
are crescent-shaped pieces of thin gold plate. The horns 
are richly decorated with the rectilinear patterns, so 
characteristic of the Early Bronze Age throughout 
Western Europe, and terminate in flat catches. Over 



Fig. 16. (i) Gold torque, Scotland, Middle Bronze Age. J 

(2) Twisted gold armlet, Scotland, Middle Bronze Age (after 


sixty lunulae have been found in Ireland but there are 
six from Scotland. The latter particularly resemble 
both in plan and ornament the contemporary jet neck- 
laces found in the same country. It has therefore been 
suggested very plausibly that the lunulae originated in 
Scotland as metal copies of such necklaces, Ireland 
being only a secondary centre. Thence in any case they 
were exported to Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Scandinavia 
and North Germany (Fig. 1 9). 


One of the simplest conceivable metal ornaments is a 
ring of wire or ribbon to fit on the finger. As bone and 
stone finger-rings go far back in the Stone Age, early 
metal copies are only to be expected. They are so wide- 
spread as to have little cultural significance, and only a 
few specialized types need mention here. 

The Minoans of Crete, copying the Sumerians and 
Egyptians, used to mark the ownership of a packet or 
authenticate inscribed tablets by the impression of a 
seal. This was at first worn on a string, passing in one 
class through a loop at the back. During Middle 
Minoan times the loop was enlarged into a hoop to 
fit the finger. The oval seal part (technically called 
the bezel) with its long axis at right angles to the 
hoop, was of course beautifully engraved like the bead 
or button seals of gems or ivory. No seals nor signet 
rings were made by the European barbarians till late 
in the Iron Age, but in the Late Bronze Age rings of 
bronze leaf, generally horizontally ribbed, were made 
of bronze ribbon [so trimmed as to be much wider at 
the side worn on the back of the finger than on the 
other. Such rings, common in South-west Germany 
and Switzerland, doubtless imitate Aegean signets. 


A truly European ring, common in Central Europe 
from the Early Bronze Age onwards, was formed of a 
strand of gold or bronze wire doubled with the ends 
twisted together, coiled into a little cylinder, like the 
wire bracelets already mentioned. During the Middle 
Bronze Age a very handsome ring of bronze ribbon, 
terminating in opposed spiral disks, characterized the 
Tumulus culture of Western Germany, South-western 
Bohemia, Austria and Slovakia (Fig. 1 5, no. 10). In the 
Late Bronze Age a more wiry version was in vogue also 
farther east in the urnfields of Moravia and Hungary. 

In Britain we find in hoards of the Middle Bronze 
Age small coils of massive gold with imitation torsion 
that may have been worn on the fingers but possibly 
served as money. 


Even in Early Minoan times, buttons of some perish- 
able material, overlaid with gold, were being worn in 
Crete. The little convex disks of gold leaf, that once had 
sheathed them and now alone survive, are each pierced 
with two thread-holes. Similar hollow button-covers, 
generally of bronze, appear in Hungary even in the 
Early Bronze Age, and in the Middle Bronze Age 
become very plentiful throughout Central Europe. In 
the Late Bronze Age they were gradually replaced by a 
more solid button, generally flat, with a cast loop on the 
back instead of the thread-holes. 

Buttons of stone, bone and ivory have a longer 
history. A very famous type, common all through 
Western Europe and right up to Scandinavia and the 
Tisza during the Copper Age, is conical and pierced on 
the flat side with two holes that converge to meet in a V, 


Such buttons with V -perforation in jet or amber re- 
mained popular in Britain during the Early Bronze Age 
(Fig. 1 8, no. 2). 

Studs of stone, shaped like two disks joined by a short 
cylinder, were used in a rudimentary form, perhaps as 
lip-plugs, in prediluvian Mesopotamia and reached 
Crete even before the local Bronze Age began. A 
developed variant on this in jet was popular in Britain 
during the Early Bronze Age. Later metal studs of the 
same plan were largely manufactured in Scandinavia. 

Buckles of jet were employed in Great Britain during 
the Early Bronze Age. They resemble an oval rod with 
a longitudinal slit. 

For fastening the girdle very handsome clasps were 
used in Central and North Europe during the Middle 
and Late Bronze Ages. A pretty form, current chiefly in 
Wtirtemberg and on the Upper Rhine, was a hook of 
doubled wire whose ends were coiled in spiral disks. 
This was replaced in the Late Bronze Age by a flat 
metal plate, circular save for a narrow tang that was 
bent over to form the hook; a loop is attached to the 
back of the disk at the centre. In the Rhone valley 
during the latest Bronze Age the type was further elabo- 
rated, the tang growing into a richly decorated oval plate, 
while the original disk, no less ornate, developed three 
additional hooked tangs, 

A very distinctive hook was used by Scandinavian 
warriors of the Middle Bronze Age for attaching the 
scabbard to the girdle. The hook is massive, cross-pieces 
project just below its point and its base is a solid disk. 

The girdles themselves might sometimes be all of 
sheet metal. There is an example in beaten silver from 
Byblos in Syria. Magnificently engraved girdles of 
hammered bronze were being manufactured in Upper 


Italy at the beginning of the Iron Age, and others occur 
in the contemporary Bronze Age of Hungary. But 
normally the girdles were of leather or wool, though 
often decked with metal ornaments. During the Early 
Bronze Age of Bohemia hammered metal plates were 
probably thus employed; they are either shield-shaped 
or circular with a hollow dome-shaped boss in the 
centre. They are decorated with engraved triangles 
arranged in parallel rows or on the circumference of 
concentric circles. Holes near the rim enabled them to 
be sewn on. The latter type persists throughout the 
Middle Bronze Age, spreading to South-west Germany 
and Scandinavia, to be decorated in each region in the 
appropriate local style. 

Early Bronze Age graves in Lower Bavaria contain 
extraordinary helical pyramids of coiled bronze wire, 
executed in a technique already exemplified on a smaller 
scale in the jewellery from the earliest Sumerian graves 
at Ur(8> (Fig. 15, no. 1 1). Copying the helices by casting 
produced a metal disk with a spike in the centre 
surrounded by concentric ridges (43). A small bent-over 
tab projects from the edge of the disk for their attach- 
ment to girdles or strings (Fig. 15, no. 12). This 
"spiked tutulus" is very common in the Middle Bronze 
Age of Hungary and Central Europe. Scandinavian 
women wore a similarly shaped ornament on their 
girdles, but in the North the disk is often very large, 
1 1 inches in diameter, and decorated with spirals (Fig. 
1 7, no. 2). In the Late Bronze Age of the North the size 
is still further increased, and the central spike becomes 
a regular little pillar surmounted with a knob. A bar 
across the base of the hollow pillar provides a means of 
attachment in lieu of the older thread-holes. Quite 
possibly the so-called hanging vases of the latest Bronze 


Age in Scandinavia are just exaggerations of this type 
of tutulus (Fig. 17, no 4). 

Cones of rolled bronze leaf, or more elaborate 
versions thereof made by casting, were hung like tassels 
on the ends of woollen girdles. 

Besides stuff and metal plate girdles, double chains 
were already being worn in Bohemia even in the Early 
Bronze Age. At that date all the links were just 
circular rings. In the Late Bronze Age farther west 
rings alternate with wide links of ribbon. 


All European ear-rings and hair-rings of any interest 
go back in the last resort to Mesopotamian types (8). In 
the very early Sumerian graves recently excavated at 
Ur of the Chaldees, Woolley found several forms that 
constitute the starting-points of our series. The simplest 
type is a penannular gold ring, one end of which has 
been hammered out till it is boat-shaped while the other 
is sharp. The wide end is sometimes decorated with 
filigree work, at others exaggerated to monstrous pro- 
portions and duplicated. Contemporary with these 
undoubted ear-rings are little open spirals, both ends of 
which are boat-shaped (Fig. 15, no. 14). They were 
perhaps twisted in the hair over the ears and may 
provisionally be termed lock-rings. Identical spiral 
lock-rings are known from Troy II, the Caucasus, South 
Russia, Hungary and Central Europe. In the latter 
region a variant grew up in which one end is bent back 
upon itself. There are also wiry copies influenced by the 
contemporary ear-rings. 

The simple ear-ring with one boat-shaped end is 
also found at Troy and in Hungary. At the former 
site barbaric exaggerations lead to the gigantic basket 

Fig. 17. (i) Bronze collar, Denmark, Middle Bronze Age. J 

(2) Bronze tutulus, Denmark, Middle Bronze Age. J 

(3) Bronze tutulus, Denmark, Middle Bronze Age. J 

(4) Hanging vase (tutulus), Denmark, Late Bronze Age. 

(5) Bronze tutulus, Denmark, Late Bronze Age. j> 

(6) Torque with alternating torsion, Denmark, Late Bronze Age. 

(7) Gold "sun disk", Ireland, Late Bronze Age. | 

(8) Penannular gold ornament, Ireland, Late Bronze Age. ^ 


7 1 



ear-rings. These were made by soldering on to gold bars 
a series of bent wire coils as shown in Fig. 1 5, no, 8, 
the whole being embellished with rosettes and pendants. 
The barbarians of the North, who were ignorant of 
solder, imitated the Trojan type in two ways. In 
Scotland during the Early Bronze Age the basket was 
formed of a bent sheet of thin gold with a hook pro- 
jecting from one long side. Such ear-rings have been 
found as British exports in Belgium and Western 
Poland, In the Early Bronze Age of Hungary and 
Bohemia the gold wire coils that formed components of 
the Trojan baskets were elaborated by themselves to 
form the ear-ring (Fig. 15, no. 13). Thence they were 
exported to the still Neolithic inhabitants of Denmark 
in exchange for amber. 


Perhaps as early as Middle Palaeolithic times men 
had pierced shells and strung them together as neck- 
laces. Upper Palaeolithic man could also carve very 
neat beads out of ivory for the same purpose. The 
earliest Egyptians we know, the Badarians, could already 
drill stone for beads and soon mastered even such hard 
materials as carnelian and turquoise. An extraordinary 
variety of beads and amulets were carved out of stone 
or ivory. In prehistoric India and Mesopotamia, and 
later in Crete and the Cyclades too, stone beads were 
soon very popular. Stone beads and amulets based on 
East Mediterranean models and bone copies thereof 
were then very widely diffused throughout the Medi- 
terranean basin and along the Atlantic coasts to Brittany 
and Ireland in the Neolithic and Copper Ages, but had 
practically gone out of use before the local Bronze Age 
began. Along the Danube valley stone beads had never 






m 03 O 


MM t_l 


H >GO 

N ' 


come into vogue at all. Hence in a study of the Bronze 
Age in North-western and Central Europe only amber 
and jet beads together with a few glazed ones imported 
from the East Mediterranean need be considered. 

Amber necklaces were largely worn in Denmark, 
Great Britain and Central Europe, going back in the 
first country to early in the New Stone Age. The most 
popular form consisted of two or three strings of 
almost spherical beads connected at intervals by flat 
spacers. A spacer is a bead perforated with several 
holes, usually parallel, designed to keep the several 
strings of a necklace at the proper distance apart. The 
English and Scottish jet necklaces are similar to the 
foregoing but often more elaborate. Besides sphericals, 
thin disks, long barrel-shaped beads and flattened 
barrels with a little collar at either end were employed, 
and the spacers were cut to various shapes and diagonally 
perforated so that the necklace is broader on the throat 
than behind the neck where it was fastened (Fig. 18, 
no. i). 

Even the earliest Egyptians could put a glaze on 
stone beads, and before the beginning of the dynastic 
epoch they had learned to cast beads of an opaque 
vitreous material termed faience. The secret had also 
been grasped in Mesopotamia and India before the 
beginning of the fourth millennium. Instead of casting 
a number of separate beads, it was found that the same 
effect could be obtained more cheaply by moulding a 
tube divided by grooves into six or eight segments. Thus 
arose the so-called segmented bead which may have 
been suggested by the manufacture of simple beads by 
cutting into segments and then breaking off thin tubular 
bones or the long roots of bovine teeth. Segmented 
beads of faience are in any case known from Assur in 


Mesopotamia as early as the third millennium z.c\ y and 
appear in Crete during M.M. Ill and in Egypt under> 
the New Kingdom (12). Analogous segmented beads of 
bluish faience have been found as imports in South- 
eastern Spain, England (Fig. 18, no. 4) and Poland. 

In Mesopotamia metal pendants as well as beads 
were hung on necklaces. These include gold hoops, 
bearing wire decorations, and disks engraved and inlaid, 
in both cases provided with a loop for suspension. We 
find the same idea applied in Central Europe chiefly 
during the Middle and Late Bronze Age. A strand of 
wire, coiled into two spiral disks with a loop between 
them like spectacles, goes back to the Copper Age, and 
later a small cast wheel, possibly a solar symbol, became 
very popular. Another pendant, very common during 
the Middle Bronze Age in Hungary and adjoining 
regions as far as the Rhine, is heart-shaped. It is 
actually inspired by Minoan collar-segments of gold or 
faience bearing a hybrid pattern, termed by Sir Arthur 
Evans the sacral ivy-leaf. 

Naturally, in addition to the foregoing, simpler 
ornaments such as marine shells, Dentalium tubes, bored 
teeth and tubes of sheet metal or coiled wire were 
frequently worn. 


Where metal was plentiful, it was used for the 
manufacture of dishes, cups and ewers and even pails and 
cauldrons. The majority were made of sheet-metal 
hammered out. Cups and dishes of precious metals or 
bronze could be made, as they are to-day, by simply 
beating up a sheet of metal to the desired shape. For 
larger vessels two or three sheets were shaped by 
hammering and then riveted together. Handles too 


were /generally attached by rivets, but in the case of 
gold ;and silver vessels they might be soldered on in the 
Ancrient East and the Aegean. Spouts, projecting from 
the ^#alls of vases in Mesopotamia and Egypt, are said 
to have been brazed on. Parts of the vessel might 
rece/lve special treatment. The rim might be strengthened 
by hammering over it on either side a ribbon of metal. 
A ring foot can be easily made by inverting the vessel 
find hammering in a circular depression on the base so 
as to leave a fold all round, a process termed cupping 
the base. The handle is normally a piece of ribbon or 
stout wire with the ends hammered flat to receive the 
rivets. Metal vessels of varied shape are quite common 
from the beginnings of the historical period in Sumer 
and Egypt, at Troy II, in Copper Age graves north of 
the Caucasus, and in Middle and Late Minoan Crete. 
North of the Alps none are known before the Late 
Bronze Age with the exception of two gold cups from 

The predynastic Egyptians were very skilled in 
grinding vases out of even the hardest stones, and stone 
vessels were also freely used in early Sumer, in Crete 
from Early Minoan times and in the Cyclades. This 
material was not adopted for the manufacture of vessels 
north of the Alps save in Britain. And the small group 
of English cups of shale or amber, belonging mainly to 
the Middle Bronze Age, bear no obvious relation to any 
East Mediterranean form, being equipped with handles 
and turned on a lathe. Their prototypes are to be sought 
in woodwork. 

Bronze Age pottery exhibits such a variety of forms 
and ornaments that it must be described in connection 
with the several cultural groups which it serves to define. 
Technically, it does not differ in any essential principle 



from Stone Age wares save in the Ancient East and the 
Aegean. There the application of the wheel, already 
described, gave the potter opportunities for all sorts of 
experiments. In the Aegean too a glaze paint, that is, a 
paint containing silicates that fuse and vitrify during 
the firing of the vase, had been invented in Early Minoan 
Crete and diffused thence to the Early Cycladic and 
Helladic folk. It enabled the potter to produce lustrous 
patterns without burnishing the whole surface. Apart 
from these inventions and even north of the Alpsy 
Bronze Age pottery exhibits some features, notably 
handles and spouts, apparently unknown or at least 
very rare in pure Neolithic times. 

Fig. 19. Irish gold lunula. 



Mi E Bronze Age peoples of Europe were essentially 
JL descendants of the stocks inhabiting the same or 
adjacent parts of our continent in Neolithic times. 
These were already racially very mixed, and the rise of 
metallurgy may well have involved the incorporation 
of foreign artificers and miners in the community, as 
indicated in Chapter i. Commercial activity, such as 
necessarily played a prominent part in Bronze Age 
economics, was also accompanied by a certain inter- 
change of populations, not to be confused with mass 
migrations. At the same time the dry climatic conditions 
prevailing facilitated, and in some cases perhaps even 
necessitated, migratory movements. We thus are faced, 
even before the beginning of the Bronze Age, with 
groups already differentiated that by no means lost 
their identity when they adopted metallurgy. On the 
contrary, behind the close similarities of bronze tools 
and weapons that mark the earliest Bronze Age we 
discern already great divergences in pottery, burial rites 
and other traits. These divergences soon infect the 
bronze industry itself. The latter is again differentiated 
according as Egyptian or Anatolian traditions pre- 
dominated among the local artificers. 

In a general way it seems likely that metal first won 
general acceptance among the settled farming popula- 
tions of the coasts and valleys. On the plateaux and 
plains where forests were giving way to heath and 
park-land flora, more mobile tribes mainly, though by 


no means exclusively, pastoral, continued for a while to 
content themselves^ with stone tools. Excluding the 
Aegean and Sicily, there are only three really important 
centres of Early Bronze Age culture in Europe, namely, 
Central Europe, South-eastern Spain and Britain, 
though Upper Italy may be added as a fourth group and 
the Rhone valley and Brittany were destined soon to 
join with the other regions. 


In the valleys of the Tisza, the Middle and Upper 
Danube, the March, the Oder, the Upper Elbe and the 
Saale we find a series of allied communities. They are 
settled upon the great trade routes connecting the 
Adriatic with the amber of Jutland and East Prussia, 
and Bohemia with Slovakian copper and Transylvanian 
gold. It is convenient to designate all these kindred 
groups the Aunjetitz cultures, after a great cemetery 
at Unfitice, south of Prague. There are, however, 
important differences between the several groups in 
pottery and to some extent also in ornaments. Strictly 
speaking the Aunjetitz culture is confined to Bohemia, 
Moravia, Lower Austria north of the Danube, Silesia 
and Saxo-Thuringia. On the fringe of this area there 
are local groups named respectively after Gdta on the 
Austro-Hungarian frontier, T6szeg near Szolnok on 
the Upper Tisza, Perjdmos near Arad on the Maros and 
Straubing on the Upper Danube in Lower Bavaria (40. 

All equally belong to descendants of the local Copper 
Age populations, essentially Danubian II (Lengyel) 
folk mixed in varying proportions with intruders from 
farther north, Anatolians and Bell-beaker folk from 
Spain. The latter had profoundly affected the industry 
of the region, without, however, leaving any appreciable 


trace on the physical character of the population. The 
metallurgy of our region is none the less on the whole 
inspired primarily by the Anatolian school as a con- 
sideration of the pins and ear-rings at once betrays. 
From Danubian II times onwards there had been indica- 
tions of Anatolian penetration in the pottery, Mediter- 
ranean shells and stray metal objects found in graves 
throughout the Danubian area; prospectors, perhaps 
from Troy, had discovered the gold of Transylvania 
and the tin of Bohemia. In the advanced Copper Age 
some ceramic groups exhibit such marked Anatolian 
features that one suspects a considerable influx of 
Orientals. Such would presumably have been extracting 
gold, copper and tin for export down the Danube to 
Troy where rich bronze occurs in the second city. But 
when Troy II was sacked, the market would be closed. 
The strangers must produce for local consumption. The 
rise of the native Aunjetitz industry dated from that 

The Aunjetitz people were of moderate stature but 
long-headed: they were not therefore descended from 
the exclusively round-headed Beaker folk. They lived 
primarily by farming, but undoubtedly controlled the 
exploitation of ore and the trade in amber and metals. 
Their dwellings were for the most part round beehive 
pits dug in the loss, but rectangular houses with 
plastered wattle walls were also built. The villages were 
of modest size judging from the cemeteries which 
comprise no more than a hundred graves. The dead 
were always interred in the contracted position with the 
knees drawn up to the breast. In one case in Bohemia 
a megalithic kist formed the tomb. 

Stone and bone tools including celts (some of flint 
with rectangular cross-section as in the northern Neo- 


lithic province), hammer-axes, grooved hammer-stones 
(p. 6), crescent-shaped flint sickles, bone awls and 
chisels, horn picks and axes, are quite common in the 
settlements. From hoards and graves we know flat and 
flanged celts (both axes and chisels) and quadrangular 
awls of bronze. The principal weapon was the flat 
triangular dagger with wooden or bronze hilt, but two 
bronze battle-axes with knobbed butts have been found 
in Bohemian graves. 

The pins all belong to the group with loop heads, and 
in particular those with simple roll, knot, perforated 
globular, racket, disk or husk heads. Distinctive of the 
Aunjetitz culture in the narrower sense is the pin with 
a cast loop surmounting an inverted conical head. In 
all cases the shaft is generally bent near the point. 
Except for the "manchette" armlet with engraved or 
ribbed surface, restricted to Bohemia and the immediately 
adjoining territories, the bracelets are less typical. On 
the other hand, the ingot torque (Fig. 15, no. 7) is 
found throughout the area, as are the spiral lock-rings of 
gold or bronze like Fig, 1 5, no. 1 4 and the cognate form of 
Fig. 1 5, no. 1 3. Amber necklaces of two or more strings 
of beads connected by spacers are common only in 
Bohemia, Saxo-Thuringia and Bavaria. In Moravia and 
Lower Austria amber occurs sporadically, while none is 
reported from Hungarian graves. Tubes of rolled 
bronze leaf and fossil Dentalium shells, together with 
imported Cardium shells or bronze imitations thereof, 
were likewise strung together for necklaces. Little 
bone disks decorated with concentric circles may have 
had a similar use. Girdles of stuflf or of multiple bronze 
chains were worn, and scutiform or circular plates 
might be sewn on to the former. 

The pottery of the whole group is very fine, well 


baked and burnished, but rarely decorated. It varies in 
colour from orange to black and is often mottled like 
Anatolian wares. The leading form is a mug or jug 
with a loop handle attached some way below the rim. 
In the narrower Aunjetitz L area it is at first pouch-shaped, 
having a rather peiar-sliaped body, a slightly conical neck 
and an everted rim (Fig. 20, no. i). The body and neck 
were moulded separately and then joined, a procedure 
which leaves a groove round the shoulder. Later the 
body is suppressed altogether, and we get the classical 
keeled mug with cavetto neck (Fig. 20, no. 3), In both 
varieties there is a dimple in the base. The earlier pouch- 
shaped type alone is found in Bavaria and Lower Austria 
and recurs with rather longer and narrower neck and a 
trumpet mouth in the Hungarian T6szeg group. At Per- 
jdmos and Gata the distinctive type is an hour-glass mug 
with two handles descending from the brim to the belly 
an essentially Anatolian type, that began to appear even in 
Danubian II. An amphora is also found in Bohemia, but 
there the handles are attached to the neck below the rim. 

Together with the mug goes a wide dish with a groove 
under the broad brim (Fig. 20, no. 2). There are also 
a few bowls on hollow pedestals and many large jars or 
pithoi intentionally roughened on the outside. Bohemia 
and Moravia have also yielded a number of small vases 
that obviously imitate stone models, imported presum- 
ably from the Aegean. Finally from Nienhagen on the 
northern slopes or the Harz comes a famous clay copy of 
a Minoan metal cup of the so-called Vapheio shape (12). 

Incised ornament when present is limited to a belt of 
parallel lines round the rim or shoulder with fillets 
hanging from it. In Hungary the incised lines are 
replaced by applied ribs arranged in the same way. 
Small nipples on the shoulders are found everywhere. 




The art of the Aunjetitz group is better illustrated by 
the engraved patterns on daggers, armlets and pin- 
heads. It is purely rectilinear, the favourite motive 
being a small hatched triangle. On round surfaces 
these may be arranged in concentric rings. The cross 
is also found on some disk-head pins. This rigidly 
rectilinear style is universal throughout the Early Bronze 
Age save for the Spanish and Scottish stone carvings to 
be mentioned below. It is sometimes regarded as West 
European but might equally well be northern, since 
similar triangle patterns had been very common on the 
Corded Ware vases of Thuringia in the later Stone Age. 

In Saxo-Thuringia side by side with regular Aunjetitz 
graves distinguished by no superficial monument, 
we encounter interments under barrows, often very 
richly furnished. The most famous are the barrows of 
Leubingen and Helmsdorf. Both contained halberds 
in addition to the normal Aunjetitz armoury. Such 
barrows probably belong to descendants of the Neo- 
lithic Corded Ware folk of Thuringia. The halberds and 
a celt of English manufacture from Helmsdorf show that 
these warriors controlled trade routes leading westward 
as well as the great amber route along the Elbe. The 
special culture that was differentiated under these 
circumstances in the Saale valley may well be no earlier 
than Reinecke's phase B while the Aunjetitz culture 
proper occupies both phases A and B. 

North of Magdeburg and Glogau no burials fur- 
nished with Early Bronze Age types are known. But 
at least in Scandinavia and along the North Sea coasts 
the old Nordic population still lived on in a Stone Age 
burying their dead either in megalithic long kists or 
under barrows. In a few such graves gold spirals of 
Aunjetitz types (like Fig, 15, no, 14) or other stray 


imports have been unearthed to confirm the synchronism 
of this belated Stone Age with a precocious Bronze 
culture. Similarly south of the Drave the so-called 
Slavonian culture seems to lack metal. Yet the pottery 
includes keeled mugs quite like those of Aunjetitz and 
T6szeg. Moreover one group of Middle Bronze Ag 
pottery from Hungary is a direct continuation of the 
Slavonian tradition. 


A contemporary centre of metallurgical industry in 
Northern Italy must be inferred from the distribution of 
certain types such as the flanged celts like Fig. 4, no. I. 
It is not, however, easy to locate the centre accurately. 
In the province of Brescia extensive cemeteries, notably 
the type site of Remedello, have been explored that go 
back to the Copper Age, in fact to the Bell-beaker 
period. Beside the narrow-shouldered West European 
dagger and others of Early Minoan form with midrib 
and short tang and flint copies of both, the graves 
contained round-heeled triangular daggers and even 
flanged celts, albeit of pure copper (44). 

Within the period covered by the cemeteries pile- 
dwellings were being founded on the Italian Lakes. 
These were occupied for a long time and have yielded 
stone tools as well as Middle and even Late Bronze Age 
types. But there are indications that some Early Bronze 
Age forms were actually cast in the lake-villages, 
and amber beads attest their relations with the North. 
It is supposed that the lake-dwellers were invaders from 
beyond the Alps though their precise home is uncertain. 
Some of the pots really resemble early Aunjetitz shapes, 
but they exhibit a curious spur or thumb-grip at the 
top of the handle that is more at home south of the Alps. 



The Early Bronze Age culture of Italy is, therefore, 
still rather vague. Industrially Aegean and Spanish 
traditions met there even the halberd is represented 
in hoards. Ethnically an old native Neolithic stock was 
overlaid by Bell-beaker elements from Spain and 
immigrants from beyond the Alps. 


As a centre of Early Bronze Age industry South- 
eastern Spain ranks in importance with Bohemia and 
even perhaps the Aegean. Here, too, it looks as if the 
rise of a local Bronze Age coincided with an interruption 
of relations with the Eastern Mediterranean, which 
obliged foreign metallurgists, settled round the rich 
lodes of copper and silver, to produce for a local market. 
The effects of earlier eastern trade are illustrated by the 
Copper Age settlements and cemeteries of Los Millares 
in Almeria and of Palmella in Portugal. At Los Millares 
the dead were buried in beehive tombs built of stones 
and roofed by corbelling. Similar, but sometimes even 
finer, tombs are known from Granada, Andalucia and 
Southern Portugal. The tombs at Palmella are similarly 
shaped, but hewn out of the rock. Both types seem to 
be derived from the Eastern Mediterranean. That is 
confirmed by the discovery at Los Millares of ostrich- 
shell beads, pins of hippopotamus-ivory, vases of stone 
and plaster, painted pottery and bone combs, as well as 
flat celts, West European daggers, saws, arrow-heads 
and other copper implements. With the Oriental im- 
ports are found also Baltic amber, English jet and French 
callais. The pottery in all the above-mentioned tombs 
includes Beaker ware mingled with undecorated local 
vases sometimes of Early Minoan or Cycladic form. 


Siret(<0) believes that these rich tombs belonged to 
Oriental colonists who had founded trading-posts at 
points commanding the sea route to the North and the 
local supplies of ore. He insists that the rarity of gold 
and silver at this time is due to the fact that the precious 
metals were exported to the Ancient East and the 
Aegean, just as in Denmark, when in Late Neolithic 
times the amber trade with Bohemia was established, 
that substance, formerly common in every tomb, ceased 
to figure in the grave inventory. In the Bronze Age 
culture that succeeded that of Los Millares silver became 
relatively common and foreign imports correspondingly 
rare, as might be inferred on the assumption of the 
interruption of eastern trade. 

The chief centre of Early Bronze Age civilization lay 
in Almeria, the type station being El Argar in that pro- 
vince (45) . The same culture spread all along the east coast 
of the Peninsula to the Pyrenees and is traceable, though 
in an impoverished form, in Andalucia and Southern 

Physically the Bronze Age population of South- 
eastern Spain was mixed. Among the males long-heads 
and round-heads were represented in approximately 
equal proportions; the women on the other hand were 
predominantly brachycephalic. 

The El Argar folk were certainly farmers and as 
surely also metallurgists. Moulds, grooved hammer- 
stones and slag have turned up in several settlements. 
The people doubtless exploited the local copper and 
silver ores, but the supply of tin which had to be 
imported from Galicia, the Cevennes, Brittany or Corn- 
wall was irregular. None of the tools analysed contained 
as much as ten per cent., and the majority consist of 
unalloyed copper. In Almeria the El Argar people 



lived on hill-tops defended by great stone walls, some- 
times pierced by a postern reminiscent of Mycenae. The 
houses were agglomerations of rectangular chambers 
with stone foundations for the walls. Some may have 
boasted two storeys. The dead were buried, contracted, 
within the settlements, among or under the houses, 
either in small kists of six thin slabs or in large jars. 
Some sarcophagi, hollowed out of stone, are also assigned 
to this period. Against a wall in one village was an 
altar-like construction embellished with horn-like ends 
suggesting a well-known Minoan cult object, the horns 
of consecration. 

The principal tools are celts, flat or with low flanges, 
and quadrangular awls. As weapons were employed 
round-heeled knife-daggers, halberds and the bow and 
arrows. The daggers, as in the Cyclades, were not 
seldom attached to the hilts by small silver rivets. As 
noted, the daggers eventually grew into short flat swords. 
The halberd, the most distinctive weapon of the penin- 
sula, is already foreshadowed by flint blades from Los 
Millares and contemporary sites. The bronze specimens 
vary widely in shape : most are symmetrical, some have 
very broad butts, the rivets may be quite big and a 
broad midrib is frequently used to strengthen the blade. 
The arrows were tipped with tanged copper heads, 
generally lozenge-shaped and seldom barbed. The type 
goes back to the Copper Age culture of Los Millares. 
Narrow plaques of schist, perforated at either end, were 
probably worn on the wrist by archers as a protection 
against the recoil of the bow-string. Elsewhere such 
wrist-guards are found in graves with Bell-beakers. 

The ornaments are dull in comparison with the 
Bohemian. The most interesting is a diadem, an open 
circlet of silver or sheet copper, shaped so as to leave 


an upright projection in front. Plain rings of silver or, 
bronze wire were worn on the arms and fingers and in 
the ears. Another ornament for the arm or neck was 
made from a boar's tusk perforated with a series of 
holes through which small copper rings were stuck. 
Beads of rolled copper leaf or coiled wire together with 
shells were hung on necklaces. There are also a few 
imported beads of callais, segmented beads of Minoan 
or Egyptian faience and imitations thereof in bone. 
Pyramidal bone buttons with V perforation served to 
fasten the garments. 

The El Argar pottery, like that of Aunjetitz, is 
normally unornamented and red, black or mottled. 
Handles are virtually unknown, nor is the base ever 
dimpled; rounded bottoms are indeed common. The 
main forms are goblets with inverted rims on a solid 
pedestal (Fig. 20, no, 5), dishes with similar rims, big 
carinated bowls with flattened conical necks (Fig. 20, 
no. 4), and keeled mugs with cavetto necks (Fig. 20, 
no. 6). The latter closely resemble the Aunjetitz form 
in profile, but never have handles. Such parallels need 
imply no direct connection ; they are rather developments 
of Copper Age types in which North African and Aegean 
elements were prominent, and some of which reached 
Central Europe along with the Bell-beaker culture. 

In the East Spanish cradle of the El Argar culture, 
so rich in artistic production of the Stone and Copper 
Ages, no indications of decorative activity assignable 
to the Bronze Age have come to light. But in the North- 
west (Northern Portugal, Galicia and the Pyrenees), 
where isolated bronzes of El Argar form and traces of 
contemporary mining have come to light, two curious 
series of rock-carvings exist that may be described here. 
The first and older group is a degenerate descendant 


of the well-known Copper Age group described by 
Burkitt (d)p. 217). Its patterns seem to represent yet 
more conventionalized versions of the human figure. 
The body has become a rectangle or three concentric 
circles round a central dot. The head is denoted by a 
vertical line starting from the periphery and sometimes 
terminating in a circle or a cross. A pair of short 
oblique strokes, sprouting from the upper corners of 
the rectangles or the appropriate cords of the circles 
may be added to represent arms, and legs may be 
similarly indicated (Fig. 21, no. i). Some of these 
figures may stand for the four-wheeled carts depicted 
on the Copper Age monuments. 

In a later group conventionalization had proceeded 
even farther. Of the old figures nothing now remains 
but circles sometimes traversed by a radial line and 
enclosing a round hollow, termed a cup mark (Fig. 21, 
no, i), or a group of such. But mixed up with these 
geometric figures on some rocks are highly conven- 
tionalized but quite recognizable animals, carved in the 
same technique. Apart from these animal figures the 
later Galician rock-carvings offer most interesting 
parallels to the "cup and ring" markings of the British 
Isles. They thus supplement the evidence afforded by 
beads and tools for the continuance of those ancient trade 
relations along the Atlantic coasts of which the distribu- 
tion of megalithic tombs give proof in the Stone Age. 

Settlements and cemeteries of classical El Argar type 
are common only along the east coast of the peninsula 
from the Ebro to Gibraltar, In Portugal El Argar 
types occur principally in the late degenerate forms of 
the local megalithic tombs. The same remark applies 
to the Pyrenaean region where a local megalithic 
culture, evolved in the Copper Age out of a fusion of 


Portuguese, Bell-beaker and local Neolithic elements, 
now accepted some El Argar types of tool and pottery. 
In time the range of the El Argar culture may be 
considerable. It must begin quite early in the second 
millennium B.C., yet, at least in its homeland, it has 
no successor till the Iron Age. 

Apart from the limited adoption of El Argar types 
in the south, it seems that the natives of France were 
incapable of fulfilling the conditions requisite for regular 
supplies of metal. Though isolated bronzes of early 
type are widespread, burials furnished with such are 
confined to the north-west corner and the extreme east 
(Savoy and Jura). The negative evidence is supplemented 
by the discovery of a few Bronze Age trinkets among 
Neolithic or Copper Age grave goods in the stone kists 
of the Cevennes or the allees convenes of the Seine-Oise- 
Marne basins. 

In Normandy and Brittany on the other hand a 
series of tombs furnished with Early Bronze Age types 
testifies to a vigorous though belated metal industry. 
The Armorican culture probably belongs rather to the 
Middle Bronze Age, like that of the Rhone, and so 
does not rank as an original centre of metallurgy, but it 
is none the less more convenient to mention it here at 
the expense of chronological exactitude. The Bronze 
Age graves lie conspicuously outside the areas where 
the famous megalithic tombs are concentrated. They 
seem to denote a new and probably intrusive culture. 
The tombs are generally chambers, built of small stones 
not bonded with any mortar and roofed either with a 
single large capstone or with a corbelled vault. The whole 
structure was buried beneath a mound or cairn. Usually 
no passage connected the chamber with the exterior of 
the cairn, but some tombs with a corridor of access in 


Normandy may belong to this period. The tombs were 
designed for one interment only, and in most cases the 
body had been burned, though inhumations occur (51). 

The furniture includes flat celts and round-heeled 
daggers 1 of bronze and superb tanged and barbed 
arrow-heads of flint. One wooden dagger-hilt had been 
studded with 1333 little gold nails; other daggers are 
bronze hiked. Wrist-guards for the bowman have been 
found but rarely. Among the ornaments may be men- 
tioned a ring-head pin of silver and rare beads of amber 
or vitreous paste. 

A curious vase regularly accompanies these burials. 
It is strictly biconical though the upper cone is shorter 
and more depressed than the lower one. Two or four 
wide strap handles unite the rim to the keel where the 
two cones join. The vases may be decorated with herring- 
bone incisions or with rows of hatched triangles along 
the keel and base and the same inverted below the keel 
and along the rim. This is the same style of decoration 
that we find generally on bronzes and gold ornaments 
throughout the Early Bronze Age, The origin of this 
culture is at the moment unknown. 

The Early Bronze Age cultures in Savoy and Eastern 
France are chiefly represented by burials under barrows 
which may still contain stone axes (celts) together with 
bronze offerings. They are inspired partly from Bohemia 
and Hungary like the Rhone culture of the Middle 
Bronze Age, 

At the close of the Neolithic Age the dominant folk 
on both sides of the Rhine possessed the culture termed 

1 Dchelette figures as halberds certain blades from S. Fiacre, 
Morbihan. An examination of the weapons, now in Oxford, disclosed 
not the straight transverse lines left by a halberd shaft, but the semi- 
circular plate usually left by dagger hilts. 


by Burkitt " Pile-dwelling ". They dwelt in fortified 
settlements. At the same time part of the country was 
overrun by Corded Ware makers from farther east and 
the Bell-beaker folk from the West. Mixed communi- 
ties arose under these conditions. From an amalgamation 
between the two intrusive groups sprang the so-called 
Zoned-beaker group. This people already possessed 
round-heeled daggers of true Bronze Age type. A 
large proportion of them went down stream and settled 
in Britain, as we shall see below. 

In the Rhineland itself, however, a kindred group, 
including more Pile-dwelling elements, remained behind 
and created the Adlerberg culture, so called after a 
village and cemetery on a knoll of that name on the 
outskirts of Worms, The huts were pit-dwellings, partly 
sunk in the earth, and the graves, situated among the 
huts, each contained a contracted corpse. Round-heads 
were predominant in the population. The grave goods 
are poor and primitive rare flat celts, round-heeled 
flat daggers and quadrangular awls of bronze, and pins 
with broad rolled heads and a shaft bent like a sabre. 
The latter type was also imitated in bone. The graves 
also yielded flint knives and arrow-heads, bone and 
allegedly ivory rings, and beads and shells, including 
Mediterranean species, pierced for stringing. 

The commonest pot is a rather biconical or pear- 
shaped mug with ribbon handles, that may be decorated 
with rows of incised triangles like the Armorican vases. 


The round-headed Beaker folk who descended the 
Rhine settled in Great Britain, introducing there their 
own habit of individual burial under a round barrow in 
contrast to the collective interments under a long barrow 


practised by the supposedly older " Neolithic " long- 
heads. Naturally the invaders from the East did not 
exterminate the older population. The latter continued 
to bury their dead for a time in the family vaults under 
long barrows, and, though the round barrow eventually 
became universal, probably ended by absorbing the 
intruders. They at any rate played a part in the develop- 
ment of the bronze industry. Yet the oldest metal 
objects in Britain have been found under round barrows 
and with beakers. Though flint and stone are far 
commoner than metal with such pottery, the Beaker 
folk probably introduced the knowledge of metallurgy 
or the organizing ability needed to make that knowledge 
effective ; the establishment of the necessary organization 
naturally took time for invaders in a strange country. 

Our knowledge of the British Bronze Age being 
founded in a peculiar degree upon a study of the funerary 
pottery and associated grave goods, our account of it 
must begin with a description of the main types. The 
beakers (i ) that symbolize the invaders have been divided 
into three main classes by Thurnam and Abercromby, 
denoted by the letters A, B, and C most unhappily 
since, while the A and C beakers are closely allied, the 
B beakers are placed in a class apart by ornament and 
associations as well as by form. 

Beakers of class B stand nearest to the continental 
varieties. The rims are everted and the profile forms a 
graceful 3 curve down to the base. The clay is fine, 
often red and generally burnished. The ornament 
is arranged in predominantly horizontal zones, as a 
rule alternately plain and decorated. The patterns, 
repeated round the zones, are quite simple chevrons, 
triangles, X's. The decoration was executed either 
with a cog-wheel or short-toothed comb of bone or 


wood whose square teeth, rolled over the wet clay, 
have left an almost continuous series of little rect- 
angular depressions, or (in North Britain) with a cord 
impressed upon the damp clay or finally with a simple 
pointed implement. Beakers of this type are found 
all over the island. They are regularly associated with 
bronze, or perhaps copper, daggers of West European 
type (Fig. 7, no. 2), barbed and tanged flint arrow-heads, 
stone wrist-guards and buttons with V -perforation, but 
never with objects of Nordic type (stone battle-axes 
or flint daggers). 

Beakers of types A and C bear a close family likeness. 
The neck is practically straight or even inturned at the 
rim and makes a definite angle with the globular body 
instead of rising out of it in a continuous swelling curve. 
In type A the neck is relatively long in comparison 
with the body while in C it is shorter. These beakers 
exhibit a greater variety of ornament than those of 
class B. The arrangement is no longer exclusively 
horizontal ; a division into panels or metopes is common, 
and occasionally vertical bands predominate. The 
patterns include saltires, elongated triangles and lozen- 
ges. Cord-impression is not employed, but in addition 
to the remaining devices applied to the decoration of 
B beakers, we have the imprint of finger-nails and of a 
hollow reed or bird's leg-bone. In type C horizontal 
ridges in relief may be used decoratively. In the same 
class are to be included a small group of beakers with 
handles. Such appendages are foreign to the pure 
bell-beakers of Western Europe, but are not rare in 
Bavaria and farther east. With beakers of types A 
and C are associated flat round-heeled daggers with 
rivets for the handle (Fig. 7, no. 3), flint daggers, stone 
battle-axes and flint arrow-heads. 


Lord Abercromby<53> believed that the Beaker folk 
landed at one point on our coasts, probably in Kent, 
and spread gradually northwards. The gradual de- 
generation of type A would provide a time-scale for 
checking their advance. The theory of a single landing- 
place is now generally rejected, and class B beakers 
must be excluded from the typological series as a group 
apart. On the other hand, the C beakers, that may well 
be decadent descendants of the A group, are really 
commonest in North Britain, So the people who made 
them may in truth have spread northwards by land 
routes rather as Abercromby imagined. 

Partly, at least, contemporary with the beaker burials 
are others, accompanied by a quite unrelated vase 
termed a food vessel. This was the funerary pot of the 
Neolithic" stock and originated in North Britain or 
Ireland out of a bowl found in the long barrows and 
contemporary settlements. The allegedly Neolithic 
bowls were round-bottomed so that food vessels showing 
this peculiarity may be regarded as early. Such are 
lotus-shaped with ornament even on the base; they 
are termed type A by Abercromby. Very soon the 
base was flattened and a groove developed round the 
widest part of the body (Frontispiece). As a further 
development, or more probably as a derivative of 
another variety of "Neolithic" bowl, the part above 
the grooves was contracted somewhat to form a slightly 
concave neck, the groove being now in a well-marked 
shoulder. The classical types of England are a modifica- 
tion of this. The lower part is an inverted truncated 
cone; above this comes a marked shoulder bearing 
one (types I and 2) (Fig. 20, no. 7) or two 
(type 4) grooves or none at all (type 3). The shoulder 
is surmounted by a short concave neck. In all food 


vessels the rim is broad and moulded, generally on the 

Food vessels, especially in North Britain and Ireland, 
are very richly decorated. The cog-wheel technique, 
distinctive of Beaker ornament, is indeed comparatively 
rare on food vessels south of Derbyshire, while cord 
impressions are exceptional farther north. On the other 
hand, three methods of ornamentation strange to beakers 
were freely employed on food vessels in Ireland and 
Western Scotland, but grow progressively rarer as we 
proceed southward in England. They are termed by 
Abercromby the whipped-cord, the looped-cord and 
the false-relief techniques respectively. 

In the first a cord, twisted tightly round a pin or 
other thin core, is impressed upon the damp clay, a 
style of decoration known also on "Neolithic" pottery 
in Scotland. The looped-cord effect may be obtained by 
twisting two cords together to form a braid which is 
impressed upon the clay, then unwinding the braid and 
forming a new one with the cords twisted in the opposite 
direction. The false relief is obtained by impressing on 
the soft clay a bone or wooden implement with a 
triangular point like that of a penknife so as to produce a 
series of triangles whose bases form a continuous line. 
The process is repeated with the point of the instrument 
inverted so as to yield a second series of triangles whose 
bases shall be parallel to those of the first but whose 
apices point to the junction of the bases of the first 
series. A zig-zag band is thus left in relief between the 
two sets of inverted triangles (Frontispiece). Sometimes 
an actual triangular stamp of wood may have been 
employed. And in any case the effect is similar to that of 
the fretwork technique on Central European pottery 
described in the next chapter. It is already seen on 


some true bell-beakers from North Spain and Central 

Though covered with patterns, food vessels seldom 
exhibit such distinctive "motives as are seen on beakers 
of class A. We may, however, draw attention to the 
radial cruciform or stellate patterns on the bases of 
some Irish and Scottish examples. They distinctly 
recall the patterns radiating from the bases of vases 
of the bell-beaker class in Spain and Portugal 

The food vessels of early type are found principally 
in Ireland and the more mountainous northern and 
western portions of Great Britain. In Southern England 
funerary vases of this group are quite rare, and all belong 
to late or degenerate types. Food vessels, in fact, 
doubtless belong to the "Neolithic" stock, dispossessed 
in the south by the Beaker folk. Nevertheless fresh 
arrivals from the south-west, whence the " Neolithic M 
people had presumably come, are highly probable. A 
reinforcement of Spanish influence is demonstrated by 
the radial decoration mentioned above as well as by the 
contemporary halberds, the chambered tumuli of the 
type of New Grange, the carvings on stones there and 
elsewhere and other cognate phenomena. 

With food vessels are associated flat triangular 
daggers, celts and awls of bronze, flint arrow-heads and 
stone battle-axes, but no wrist-guards or flint daggers 
and very few buttons with V -perforation. The skulls of 
corpses interred with food vessels, like those from the 
" Neolithic " long barrows, are quite often long-headed 
in contrast to the pronounced round-headedness of the 
Beaker folk. Moreover, in some instances food vessels 
accompany cremated interments and may even contain 
the ashes. 


To adapt them better to the function of ossuaries, 
the food vessels were eventually greatly enlarged, 
becoming what are termed cinerary urns. The general 
adoption of cremation, signalized by the appearance of 
the cinerary urn, may be conveniently taken to mark the 
beginning of the Middle Bronze Age here, although no 
corresponding changes in the buried bronze offerings 
can be detected. And it must be noted that even beakers 
were in use side by side with early cineraries. 

Sharply defined cultural groups are not distinguish- 
able in Great Britain till the Late Bronze Age, but even 
in our period we can discern the working of a principle, 
recently enunciated by Dr Fox (71). In the predominantly 
lowland area south-east of a line from Teesmouth to 
Torquay foreign cultures of continental origin tend to 
be imposed; in the highland country to the north-west 
such tend to be absorbed. In our period the Beaker 
culture maintained itself for a long time in the south; 
in the north the native Bronze culture characterized by 
food vessels soon developed and superseded it. Two 
overlapping phases of the British Early Bronze Age are 
thus obvious; the first, marked by the earlier types of 
beakers, witnessed the arrival and expansion of the 
round-headed invaders; during the second the older 
population, distinguished by the food vessels, reasserted 
itself. Thanks to the blending of two traditions the 
native civilization of the British Isles during these two 
periods was vigorous and original. 

While they undoubtedly cultivated grains and en- 
gaged in trade and industry, our Bronze Age ancestors 
were semi-nomadic. As Dr Curwen(8o) puts it "like the 
patriarch Isaac who 'sowed in that land and found in 
the same year an hundredfold... and departed thence ' 
our Bronze Age ancestors inhabited a site from one 


to five years until the cornplots were exhausted and 
then moved elsewhere". No large villages have been 
found, and the earlier burials do not constitute regular 
cemeteries. A few fortified enclosures on hill-tops were 
certainly occupied by the Beaker folk, but their founda- 
tion dates from an earlier age. The defences, of which 
Windmill Hill near. Avebury offers the typical example, 
consisted of concentric moats interrupted by frequent 
causeways (108). 

The dwellings of the period were mainly circular. 
In England the hut was excavated in the chalky ground 
and completed probably by a conical roof of skins. In 
Scotland beaker sherds have been found in " hut- 
circles " of which the foundation only a circular bank 
of stones and turf survives ; the nature of the super- 
structure is unknown. In one near Muirkirk in Ayr- 
shire (79) a post hole was observed near the centre as well 
as a large hole full of ashes and cracked stones that 
served as a cooking-pit. Such hut-circles are scattered 
all over the moors throughout the British Isles and are 
easily seen when the heather is not too high. In all a 
gap in the circular bank, often flanked by great stones, 
marks the doorway. In some later huts (Late Bronze 
Age) on Dartmoor (78) the megalithic jambs and the 
stone lintel above them are still in position. These show 
that by the Late Bronze Age at least the hut with low 
narrow doorway (2 feet 9 inches wide by 3 feet 9 inches 
high) was already well established. Sometimes the door 
opens on to a low narrow passage, often bent in an 
elbow. A comparison with the snow huts of the 
Esquimaux suggests that these features were designed 
to exclude currents of cold air. The superstition about 
draughts that makes railway travelling so painful even 
now is clearly very old. The inhabitants of hut-circles 


seem to have enjoyed the odorous warmth of human 
bodies clustered about a reeking fire as much as their 
Arctic representatives. The stone hut-circle, with its 
analogues in the beehive tomb, is an Atlantic-Mediter- 
ranean device inherited from the old "Neolithic" stock 
in Britain, but it continued to grow into even more 
elaborate forms during the Iron Age. 

Hut-circles generally occur in little groups, evidently 
tiny hamlets of from four to twelve families. Adjacent 
to some groups, for instance on Dartmoor and on 
Spartleton Edge in the Lammermoors, remains of 
irregular enclosures, fenced by dry walls of stone, are 
noticeable. They may denote the cornplots of the semi- 
nomadic villagers (80). 

Nearly all Early Bronze Age burials have been 
marked externally by a mound of earth or a cairn of 
stones. But the barrows and the grave beneath them 
vary considerably in structure. The simplest form of 
barrow is a roughly circular mound; from their external 
appearance such tumuli are termed "bowl barrows". 
The base of the mound is sometimes surrounded with a 
ring of large stones, technically called a peristalith, that 
served to keep the material of the tumulus in place. 
Occasionally such a ring of stones or a circular trench 
dug in the virgin soil encircles the grave but is completely 
buried by the mass of the barrow. Very close attention 
is therefore needed during the excavation of even a 
simple bowl barrow to disclose these and other possible 
structural features. A more elaborate monument is the 
so-called ' * bell barrow ". Here the mound is surrounded 
by a ditch or fosse with a bank outside it; a narrow belt 
of level ground, known as the berm, generally intervenes 
between the inner lip of the encircling fosse and the 
base of the mound proper. Some gigantic tumuli, 



covering built chambers, such as the celebrated Maes 
Howe in Orkney, could be classed as bell barrows though 
some believe them to be Neolithic rather than Bronze 
Age. In a third type, christened the "disk barrow ", the 
central eminence has virtually disappeared; we have, 
that is, an immense berm encircled by fosse and rampart. 
Such are supposed to be late in the Early Bronze Age; 
disks are generally earlier (72). 

The normal grave of the Beaker people was a simple 
trench or, in hard country, a short kist built of six stone 
slabs at the centre of the barrow. In Ireland and 
Northern and Western Scotland some round cairns 
which covered circular or more often cruciform cham- 
bers, roofed by corbelling, are still assigned to the 
Bronze Age. Such chambered cairns are clearly con- 
nected with the old long barrows that covered similar 
chambers. And it must be remembered that Early 
Bronze Age pottery, principally Beaker ware, has been 
found in quite a number of long barrows, showing that 
such family vaults were still in use when the Beaker folk 
reached our shores. 

"The standing stones on the naked wine red moor" 
are a feature of British highland scenery scarcely less 
impressive than the grandeur of their setting. Mr 
Burkittco has already described the principal characters 
of menhirs^ alignments and cromlechs as well as Stone- 
henge(7s), but a few additional words on the stone 
circles are indispensable to any account of the Bronze 
Age in Great Britain. It has been suggested that the 
stone circle developed out of the peristalith of a cairn or 
from the buried setting under one (73). At Clava near 
Inverness we actually find circles of huge upright stones 
enclosing the chambered cairns, and at Callernish in 
Lewis a similar ring of uprights encloses a chambered 


tumulus but just touches its periphery. Our stone 
circles vary widely in character and doubtless also in 
date and function. All consist of upright stones placed 
so as to form a ring, but the number, size- and arrange- 
ment of the stones are variable. There are circles whose 
stones barely emerge above the surface of the ground 
and others like Avebury (Wilts), consisting of stupen- 
dous blocks of stone. Some large circles are surrounded 
by a fosse and bank like the Rings of Brodgar (no bank) 
and Stennis in Orkney, Arbor Low in Derbyshire and 
of course Stonehenge itself and Avebury. The diameter 
between the stones of Brodgar is 340 feet. A much 
smaller example of a similar type (without bank) is to 
be seen at the Broomend of Crichie near Inverurie with 
a diameter of only 38 feet. Its six pillars surround a 
central burial kist. In a specialized group, confined to 
Aberdeenshire, the uprights increase in height progres- 
sively throughout a semicircle, and a huge horizontal 
slab, termed the recumbent, lies between the two highest 
which are of course adjacent. Some circles at least were 
sepulchral. For example, a kist containing a food 
vessel was found so precisely in the centre of a circle on 
Mauchrum Moor on the west coast of Arran that grave 
and circle must have been conceived as a single monu- 
ment. The food vessel incidentally fixes the Early 
Bronze Age date of this circle at least. But others may be 
later in date and need not have been connected with 
any burials. Sometimes two circles are closely juxtaposed 
as in the famous Grey Wethers on Dartmoor. 

Near many stone circles stands a single upright 
termed the outlier. Such are attached to all sorts of 
circles in all parts of the country, e.g. to the fossed Ring 
of Brodgar in Orkney, to most Aberdeenshire circles, 
to the small ring termed the Rollright Stones in 

1 1-2 


Oxfordshire, etc. Outliers furnish one of the principal 
arguments to those who believe the circles to have been 
astronomical. The outlier would be a pointer to mark 
some celestial event viewed from the centre at a stated 
season of the year. Unfortunately in quite a number of 
cases the only possible phenomena to which many of 
these outliers might have been orientated prove to be 
of such an inconspicuous nature that they are unlikely to 
have attracted attention in our clouded heavens. Indeed 
it is fantastic to imagine that the ill-clad inhabitants of 
these boreal isles should shiver night long in rain and 
gale, peering through the driving mists to note eclipses 
and planetary movements in our oft-veiled skies. 

The cover-stones of certain Scottish kists containing 
food vessels or beakers exhibit a curious carved decora- 
tion, and allied patterns can be seen on the stones of the 
peristaliths and chambers of the famous chambered 
tumuli at New Grange and Lough Crew in Ireland. 
Here Professor Breuil has been able to distinguish four 
series (i ). The first, simple engraved lines, and the 
second, consisting of spirals and other curvilinear figures 
executed by pocking, are anterior to the building of the 
tumuli which partly hide the markings. Subsequently 
other patterns lozenges and diapers pocked all over 
were squeezed into the spaces left by the earlier figures. 
Designs of the same series, Breuil's group IV, recur 
together with spirals, on the underside of the stone 
covering a kist containing a beaker at Carnwath in 
Lanarkshire (Fig. 21, no. 2), Between these limits fall 
a large series of patterns, allied in design and technique 
to group II but executed on living rock surfaces in 
Southern Scotland and Northern England. The com- 
monest device here is the " cup-and-ring marking": a 
shallow depression, 12 inches in diameter hammered 


i6 5 



9 8 

2 1 



e 4-1 
B rt 

3 *- r, 


out in the rock surface, is surrounded by from one to 
eight concentric circles, pocked out; a groove often runs 
from the centre to just beyond the outermost circle 
(cf. Fig. 21, no. i). Cognate curvilinear patterns, 
showing very clearly the motive of a pair of human eyes 
that is just discernible at New Grange, are carved on a 
chalk drum found under an Early Bronze Age barrow 
at Folkton in Yorkshire. Probably in all these carvings 
we have very conventionalized versions of the human 
figure or parts thereof and perhaps of ritual objects such 
as bull-roarers. The peculiarity of the group lies in the 
use of curvilinear motives that are otherwise foreign to 
the Bronze Age art of Europe except at a later date in 
Scandinavia and Hungary. The spirals have been inter- 
preted as due to Mycenaean influence. In any case the 
carvings do indicate very close connections with the 
South-west. The spirals of New Grange have parallels, 
which cannot be accidental, on the walls of the great 
passage grave of Gavr'inis, Brittany. The cup-and-ring 
markings exhibit no less significant similarities to the 
Galician carvings mentioned on p. 150. These carvings 
can hardly be merely decorative. As we have no insight 
into their inner function and significance, we mask our 
ignorance by calling them religious or magical. 

The purely decorative art of our Early Bronze Age 
is illustrated on the pottery already discussed and on the 
weapons and ornaments. Of the latter the most striking 
are the gold lunulae and jet necklaces described in 
Chapter in. All show the strictly rectilinear patterns of 
triangles and similar motives usual everywhere at the 
period, engraved in the case of bronzes and lunulae and 
punctured on the jet beads. 

The main types of tools and weapons in use have 
already been sufficiently summarized in dealing with 


the grave goods associated with beakers and food vessels. 
The only important addition to the list, given by a study 
of the few hoards assignable to the period, is the halberd 
that was, as noted in Chapter in, very common in 
Ireland. It must again be insisted that flint was very 
freely used, not only for arrow-heads but also for all 
sorts of knives and scrapers, and polished stone celts, 
as well as battle-axes, were still current. Yet copper or 
bronze flat celts were manufactured locally. Moulds 
for casting such have turned up in Scotland to an extent 
unsurpassed anywhere on the continent outside South- 
eastern Spain, and the distribution of actual specimens 
coincides fairly closely with that of Early Bronze Age 
settlement as disclosed by Beaker burials. On the other 
hand, Dr Foxcsg) contends that the bronze knife-daggers 
were imported from the South by sea. They are certainly 
concentrated in South-western England and become 
disproportionately rarer to the east and north. Com- 
mercial or other connections with the Iberian Peninsula 
were certainly close during the period. And a dagger 
whose wooden hilt was decorated with tiny gold nails 
affords a link with contemporary Brittany. At the same 
time contact with the lands across the North Sea is 
illustrated by the amber necklaces and flint daggers of 
Scandinavian type as well as by beads in the form 
of a double-axe a well-known " Neolithic" type in 

Thus three currents met in England during the 
Early Bronze Age one from Central Europe repre- 
sented by the invading Beaker folk, another from the 
Iberian Peninsula, perhaps unconnected with popular 
movement, and a third, plainly mercantile, from 
Scandinavian countries. That explains the intense vigour 
and originality of our Bronze Age civilization. 


H E Middle Bronze Age is much more than a mere 
JL continuation of the previous period. It witnessed 
the rise of schools of metallurgy in regions where Early 
Bronze Age types are rare and among peoples who had 
spent the preceding period in a belated Stone Age. The 
new communities of metal-workers made an original 
contribution to the common European stock of types. 
Thus many of the bronzes illustrate a new spirit 
instead of being just improvements on the older types. 
Conversely, in several centres of early metallurgy, 
particularly South-eastern Spain and Great Britain and 
to some extent also Central Bohemia, Middle Bronze 
Age types are either totally lacking or represented only 
by stray objects and a few hoards. The principal new 
provinces are Scandinavia, the South-west German up- 
lands and Hungary, to which may be added the peculiar 
developments in Upper Italy and the Rhone valley. It 
will be seen from a glance at the map that these centres 
lie along and on either side of the great central amber 
route. The regions remote therefrom failed to participate 
in the new developments. 


While the earlier Aunjetitz culture had been flourish- 
ing in Bohemia, and plentiful metal objects were being 
buried with beakers and early food vessels in Great 
Britain, the peoples of Scandinavia and North Germany 
still used stone tools, supplemented by a very few 
bronzes imported from England or Central Europe. To 
that epoch should be assigned the latest megalithic 


kists and the separate graves high up in the barrows 
of the Battle-axe folk. The latter had obtained complete 
dominance before the secrets of metal-working had been 
mastered locally. But smiths were eventually attracted 
to Denmark, which became the centre of a new metal- 
working province, termed Germanic or Teutonic. 
Besides Denmark it embraced the Norwegian coasts, 
Southern Sweden, North-west Germany and Central 
Germany north of Magdeburg. 

The distribution and grouping of the barrows for 
very few settlements are known produces the impres- 
sion of a semi-nomadic people, living in little groups 
with a limited regular range. It must be remembered 
that the dry sub-boreal conditions had converted the 
North European plain into an open park-land, verging 
on steppe in some districts. The Bronze Age population 
buried their dead, like the Neolithic Battle-axe folk, 
under barrows, normally in the extended position and 
very often enclosed in coffins formed out of hollowed 
oak trunks. 

Besides flint tools sickles, scrapers, knives, and even 
celts flanged celts, palstaves or even socketed celts, 
button sickles and knives were manufactured locally in 
bronze. In men's graves weapons are abundant. From 
such come the splendid swords with inlaid pommels, 
great socketed spear-heads sometimes 35 cm. long, and, 
more rarely, heavy battle-axes with a shaft-hole. The 
arrows were still tipped with flint points, and even 
flint daggers remained current, though inferior in 
workmanship to the amazing products of the last 
Neolithic Period. 

Unusually favourable circumstances have preserved 
to us substantial vestiges of the actual clothing then 
worn. Men wore a close-fitting woollen cap; a sort of 


blanket was girt round the body under the arms, while 
the shoulders were covered with a plaid fastened by a 
brooch at the throat. Women were clad in a short 
sleeved jacket, like a pull-over, and a skirt formed by 
girding a blanket round the waist. Their long hair was 
held in place by a net. Both sexes were shod with 
leather boots. The simple woollen dress was set off by a 
wealth of gold or bronze ornaments. For fastening the 
cloak two-piece fibulae (Fig. 14, no. 16) were used, but 
neat studs were also manufactured. The leather girdles 
were fastened with the clasps already described on 
p. 127 and decked with tutuli. These are circular. Those 
worn by women have a central spike while the disk may 
attain a diameter of 28 cm. (Fig. 17, no. 2). Men's 
were of more modest size with a hollow boss or umbo in 
the centre. Males wore bracelets on the left arm only, 
females on both. The most distinctive and beautiful 
terminate in spirals or pairs of spirals. Finger-rings 
and bracelets of double gold wire were favoured by 
both sexes. Finally, women wore the broad gorgets, like 
Fig. 17, no. i. Necklaces of amber or glass beads 
are less common. 

Towards the close of the period toilet articles in the 
form of tweezers, single-edged razors (Fig. 12, no. 1 1) 
and bronze combs begin to appear in the graves. 

Pottery is rare and exceedingly rough. Finer vessels 
were made of wood. Several neat cups of this material 
have survived. They appear to have been turned on a 
pole-lathe, are provided with a band handle and some- 
times are adorned with little tin nails forming a star 
pattern on the base. 

The Teutons of the Middle Bronze Age displayed 
high artistic capacity. Their aesthetic taste is best 
exemplified in the shapely weapons and graceful orna- 


ments and their decoration. Axes, sword-hilts (Fig. 9, 
no. 6), collars and tutuli are covered with running spiral 
patterns engraved with astonishing accuracy. In the later 
phases of the Bronze Age the first delicacy is lost, but we 
shall see a fine revival of curvilinear ornament in the latest 
period that corresponds to the southern Hallstatt age. 

Probably to our period belong also some rock- 
engravings, found principally in Bohuslan, Southern 
Sweden. As artistic productions they are far inferior to 
the delicate geometrical art of the bronze-worker or to 
the older naturalistic engravings of the Arctic Stone Age 
hunters (Burkitt (49), p. 2 1 3), but they are none the less full 
of human interest. They depict in fact scenes of daily 
life men at the plough, combats between warriors 
protected by round shields, very like those we shall 
meet in the Late Bronze Age, and naval battles between 
great rowing galleys. Different in style from the fore- 
going are the engravings on a Middle Bronze Age grave 
kist unearthed at Kivik, Schonen. One slab depicts a 
prince in a chariot, directing the slaughter of three naked 
captives quite in the spirit of certain early Sumerian 
scenes. Another slab (Fig. 21, no. 3) represents some 
rather puzzling ritual ceremonies: its upper register 
shows a band of musicians blowing long curved trumpets 
or playing other less easily recognizable instruments; 
below in the middle we see eight women (looking very 
like seals !) grouped symmetrically about a large caul- 
dron. The bottom register is taken up with another 
group of captives being slaughtered. 

The significance of these uncouth carvings cannot be 
over-estimated. They afford the oldest positive proof of 
the use of wheeled vehicles north of the Alps and prob- 
ably also of the domestication of the horse. The use of 
the musical instruments, well known in the succeeding 


period, is here dated back well into the second millen- 
.nium B.C. The cult scene is even more important; for it 
anticipates a ceremony described by Strabo as observed 
among the Cimbri who hailed from Denmark, and more 
clearly depicted on a famous bronze cauldron of later 
date discovered at Gundestrup in Jutland. The Greek 
author describes how among the Teutonic tribe a 
priestess used to cut the throats of prisoners of war so 
that their blood gushed into a great cauldron. Omens 
were obtained in this manner. The Kivik monument 
implies a similar gruesome rite among the ancestral 
Teutons about 1400 B.C., unrolling in salutary wise a 
blood-stained page which we should gladly forget. 

The free use of the spiral, and especially of interlacing 
spiral figures exactly as at Mycenae, has been thought 
to betoken Aegean influence, the Irish and Scottish 
carvings being sometimes invoked as links. But in 
point of fact the Teutonic Bronze Age was singularly 
original and independent. Hungary, indeed, supplied 
models for a number of types, but imported foreign 
commodities are rare. Of course the metals, copper, 
tin and gold, had to be imported from the South or West, 
but they arrived raw and even unalloyed. Of foreign 
manufactures we find from the East Mediterranean 
glass beads, from Italy a sword with lead solder on the 
hilt and from South-west Germany wheel-head pins, 
but that is all. Conversely Teutonic bronzes were never 
exported at this date. Save for a couple of two-piece 
fibulae from the Tyrol and North Italy, the unmistak- 
able bronzes we have described only found their way 
very sporadically just across the border of the Teutonic 
province into Holland and Thuringia. The imported 
metals must have been paid for entirely in amber or 
slaves. In the Late Bronze Age we shall find affairs 


changed and Teutonic manufactures reaching Hungary 
and Switzerland. 


The heaths and upland country of Holland, Western 
Germany, Bavaria, Upper Austria and South-western 
Bohemia are dotted over with groups of barrows whose 
furniture marks each as just a specialized manifestation 
of a single culture. In the enormous area local differences 
are only to be expected, and in fact extend to tools and 
weapons as well as vases and ornaments. Still it is 
convenient and justifiable to treat all the local groups 
together as the Tumulus Bronze culture. 

The tumulus-builders are thought by many authori- 
ties to have been Kelts, but this, as we shall see, is 
dubious. Physically they were distinctly mixed, in- 
cluding both long-heads and round-heads as well as 
mesaticephals. But they were the direct descendants 
of the peoples who had occupied the South-west German 
uplands and the Alpine slopes towards the close of the 
Stone Age. Among these the Battle-axe folk, as in the 
North, would have been the most prominent. Indeed 
in Upper Bavarians), Alsace(86> and elsewhere in the 
area barrows with Corded Ware have been found in or 
near the Middle Bronze Age cemeteries, forming as it 
were their nuclei. These highlanders and heathmen 
learned metal-working late, like their Scandinavian 
relatives, and learnt it from the Danubian school, as 
the earliest bronzes even in Alsace and the French Jura 

Economically the barrow-builders must have been 
largely pastoral and semi-nomadic. There is no doubt 
that they cultivated grain like our own ancestors, but 
they did not settle in the fertile valleys like the Aunjetitz 


folk. Their favourite haunts were poor and hilly regions 
that are to-day heavily timbered unless artificially 
cleared, but that under the dry sub-boreal conditions 
were heath or park-lands, as surviving xerophilous 
plants indicate. As characteristic regions we might 
mention the swampy tract of alluvial sands, covered 
to-day with oak woods, north of Haguenau, near Stras- 
burg, and the lovely slopes of boulder clay above the 
little glacial lakes behind Munich. 

Owing to their mode of life and perhaps under stress 
of periods of real drought, the tumulus-builders spread 
far. From centres in Upper Bavaria or Wlirtemberg the 
slopes of the Hercynian forest in Bohemia were early 
colonized, and by the Late Bronze Age we find allied 
groups as far away as Bosnia. So, too, from the terraces 
above the Upper Rhine and the Jura the greater part 
of Eastern and Central France was overrun as far as 

Settlements are practically unknown, but the graves 
are distinctive. The burial place is always marked by a 
tumulus of earth or stones generally covering one or two 
interments only, but sometimes serving as a collective 
sepulchre. The remains were laid, not in a trench, but 
just on the surface of the earth, protected by stones. 
The normal rite was inhumation in the extended 
position. But cases of cremation occur among even the 
earliest Bronze Age interments as under Neolithic 
barrows in the same area. This rite became increasingly 
common as time advanced. But the ashes were generally 
just deposited on the ground; only where the influence 
of the Urn-field folk, described in the next chapter, was 
strong in the Late Bronze Age, were the ashes enshrined 
in cinerary urns. 

The warrior was armed with an axe, a dagger, and a 


rapier or a spear with socketed head. The axe-heads 
never possessed shaft-holes, but consisted of flanged 
celts (everywhere), very slender winged celts (Fig. 4, 
no, 2) (Wurtemberg and Upper Bavaria), palstaves 
(Fig. 3, no. 5) (South-west Germany and Holland) or 
Bohemian palstaves (Fig. 4, no. 4) (in the Palatinate 
and Bohemia). The daggers were very seldom mounted 
in bronze hilts, but at least in Bavaria bronze-hilted 
rapiers are common. As a defence, the warrior carried a 
round targe of wood or leather, studded with hollow 
bronze knobs which alone have survived. The bow was 
used in hunting, and bronze arrow-heads have been 
found even in women's tombs though they are far from 
common. Sickles too of the button type (Fig. 1 3, no. i) 
were sometimes buried in the graves, but, with the 
possible exception of a small group in Franconia and 
Bavaria, single-edged knives appeared first in the Late 
Bronze Age, 

The dress was probably similar to that worn in 
Denmark. Men fastened the cloak at the throat with a 
single pin; women always used two crossed on the 
breast. In Wurtemberg the type with an eyelet in the 
swollen neck was at first the standard, to give place in 
the Late Bronze Age to giant forms with ribbed necks 
(Fig. 14, no. 10). In Bavaria and Bohemia mushroom- 
headed varieties were popular, while in Alsace the nail- 
headed type was once general, though later superseded 
by wheel-headed and ribbed types. Bracelets were worn 
by both sexes, exactly as in Denmark. The most general 
type was a simple rod, tapering at both ends and bent 
into an open ring, but forms like Fig, 1 5, nos. 3 and 4, and, 
on the Rhine, cylinders were quite popular. Finger-rings 
with ribbon bodies like Fig. 15, no. 10 were displayed 
upon the fingers, and the legs were sometimes burdened 


with anklets like Fig. 15, no. 6. Such were an Alsatian 
speciality. From the Rhine they spread westward into 
East-central France, helping to mark the expansion of 
the Tumulus culture. The girdle might be fastened 
with a spiral-ended hook and was studded with hollow 
bronze buttons, small spiked tutuli and, later, wheel- 
pendants. Strings of amber and glass beads, bronze 
wire coils and pendants including the sacral ivy leaf, 
were hung round the neck though ingot torques were 
sometimes worn. 

The pottery, often very graceful, varies materially 
from region to region. But the best proof of the 
fundamental homogeneity of the whole culture is the 
fact that any given local ware is represented by stray 
specimens in almost all the other regions. In the Rhine 
valley, Wlirtemberg and Upper Bavaria the commonest 
shapes are hemispherical cups, jugs with globular bodies 
and wide funnel-like necks, and big urns with short 
necks and handles on the shoulders. In Bohemia and 
the Palatinate the bowls may have pedestals and a handle, 
the jugs bear four warts on the belly, and the urns are 
squat with conical necks. The ornamentation is also 
different. None the less pedestalled bowls quite com- 
parable to the Bohemian are found also in Alsace. 

The vases from Bohemia and the Palatinate are 
decorated either by simply roughening the surface or 
with incised hatched triangles or chevrons of cross- 
hatched ribbons. Roughening was also used decoratively 
in Wtirtemberg and the other groups, but conical warts 
sitting on the shoulders are a common decorative device 
(Fig. 22, no. i). The most distinctive of all, however, is 
the so-called fretwork ornamentation (Kerbschniti). The 
effect at first was similar to the " false relief* on British 
food vessels, but in this case the little triangles and 



2 . .2 .1 3 3 
'S S S S *S 



lozenges were actually cut out of (excised from) the soft 
clay (Fig. 22, no. 2), Later, stamps of various shapes 
including circles came into use. In either case the 
fretwork patterns are arranged, as on beakers, in zones 
or radiating from the bases of vessels. Fretwork pottery 
is particularly common in Wurtembergua) and on the 
Upper Rhine but is represented also even in Bohemia 
and Upper Austria, all down the Rhine and right 
across France to the Departments of Card, Puy-de- 
Dome and Charente. Similarly jugs or urns with 
conical warts of Swabian style are found in Bohemia and 
in Western Lorraine (Dept. Meurthe et Moselleu)). 


The third new group of the Middle Bronze Age had its 
seat in Upper Italy, south of the Po. It is distinguished 
by a curious sort of settlement termed a terramara^ the 
4 'black earth ", full of organic refuse, having been used 
as fertilizer by the local peasantry. A terramara is a low, 
oblong mound, 1215 feet high, formed by the debris 
of prolonged occupation. On exploration it is found 
that the settlement had been fortified and laid out on a 
regular plan, common to most sites. The occupied area, 
which may cover nearly 200,000 square metres (50 
acres), is always trapezoid in shape and is surrounded by 
a moat, 1525 yards wide and about 12 feet deep. The 
moat was traversed by a single bridge and could be 
flooded by a canal joining it at the acute angle of the 
trapezoid. Some 20 yards inside the moat rises a broad 
rampart of earth, sloping on the outside but supported 
within by a wooden construction, resembling a series 
of small log-cabins and termed in Italian the contraforte. 
The area thus enclosed reveals on excavation a regular 
forest of piles. These it is supposed supported the 


actual huts which would have been " pile-dwellings on 
dry land". They appear to be grouped along lanes 
parallel to the long sides or at right angles thereto. On 
the south side there is generally an earthen mound 
encircled by an inner moat. 

Two cemeteries were normally attached to each 
terramara\ they are miniature terremare with moats of 
their own. The inhabitants of the terremare (termed 
terremaricolt] burned their dead, preserving the ashes in 
cinerary urns. These are found packed close together in 
the necropoles. 

The terremarlcoli were prosperous farmers. The 
number of sickles or moulds for their manufacture 
testify to the importance of agriculture. The domestica- 
tion and employment of horses is attested by cheek- 
pieces from bits. But the terremaricolt were also skilled 
craftsmen and keen traders. Metallurgy is illustrated 
by numerous stone moulds, weaving by whorls, loom- 
weights and spools of clay. Trade brought them, besides 
metals, amber from the Baltic and glass beads from the 
Eastern Mediterranean. 

Polished stone celts and axes, flint knives, scrapers, 
arrow-heads and even daggers are not uncommon in 
a terramara^ and tools of bone and horn are varied and 
plentiful. The distinctive bronze tools are flanged and 
winged celts, flat chisels, little awls, and needles, 
numerous grooved sickles, and a few single-edged 
knives. The warrior carried flat triangular daggers with 
bronze or horn hilts of ogival forms as well as three 
types of sword the short sword with flat blade that is 
just an elongation of the flat dagger, a rapier of continen- 
tal form, and another with a short tang formed by the 
prolongation of a pronounced midrib which is derived 
directly or through Sicily from Minoan types. Odd 



ogival blades with a short flat tang and projecting 
shoulders may have been hafted as daggers or as spear- 
heads. But socketed spear-heads were also in use. 

A great variety of pins were worn. Wiry headed 
varieties, singly or doubly looped and blossoming into 
spirals and double spirals, are the most distinctive. 
Little bone wheels that are common may also have been 
pin heads. Safety-pins of the violin-bow form are late 
and rare in terremare. But double-edged razors were in 
regular use and cast locally (Fig. 12, no. 5). Another 
toilet article was a comb of bronze or bone. 

Terramara pottery is characterized above all by the 
extraordinary crescentic or horn-like projections that 
surmount the vase handles (ansa lunata^ ansa cornuta). 
Such are just exaggerations of a feature, found earlier 
on Italian pottery, to which there are analogies in 
Macedonia, Aetolia, Malta, Sicily and Sardinia. The 
shapes include shallow cups, pedestalled vessels, and 
inverted conical or biconical urns, generally without 
necks. Warts, pinched out of the clay and often en- 
circled by incisions, are the principal decorative device. 

An approach to plastic art is seen in rude clay figurines 
and models of animals. The bone combs, disks and hilts 
are often richly carved with zig-zags, triangles, concen- 
tric circles or even running spirals. 

An important school of Italian prehistorians, founded 
by the late Professor Pigorini, hold that the terremaricoli 
were the original Italici from whom the Umbrians, 
Latins and Sabines were alike descended. A genuine 
terramara near Taranto and other more ambiguous 
remains from Central Italy would be the monuments of 
the "Aryanization" of the peninsula. It is at least 
certain that the terramara industry became dominant 
throughout its whole length. According to Pigorini 


these Italic! would have been invaders from beyond the 
Alps. But despite general analogies in sites like T6szeg 
on the Tisza, no genuine terremare have been found in 
the Danube basin, and the exact starting-point of the 
Italic! remains uncertain. 


The Middle Bronze Age in Hungary begins with 
the desertion of several Early Bronze Age sites and a 
break in the ceramic record a layer yielding no pot- 
sherds in others. Yet by the end of the period we find 
the whole plain occupied by extensive communities, 
each traceable by their pottery to Early Bronze Age 
groups though the traditions are now differently blended. 
At the same time a number of bronze types, found stray 
or in hoards and dated by their context abroad, show 
that Hungary was now the seat of a very vigorous and 
original bronze industry. 

The most distinctive forms of the period are the shaft- 
hole axes described on p. 75 above (Fig. 23, no. i); 
for celts were not manufactured locally to serve as axe- 
heads. The forms are probably derived from Copper Age 
models ; the distribution suggests that they were manu- 
factured principally in North-east Hungary, the copper 
being derived presumably from the Matra Mountains. 
Thence they were exported as far as Upper Austria, 
Bavaria, Mecklenburg, the Ukraine and Serbia. Besides 
an axe the Hungarian warrior carried a spear with 
socketed head or very rarely a rapier. Small ogival 
daggers are occasionally found in the late graves. Few 
tools can safely be assigned to the Middle Bronze Age, 
but the ornaments were varied and distinctive, and 
enjoyed a wide popularity even outside Hungary. Many 

Fig. 23. (i) Hungarian battle axe. ^ 

(2) Disk-head pin, Hungarian type. 

(3) Mushroom pin of Hungarian type. 

(4) Cylinder, Hungary. 

(5) Sacral ivy-leaf pendant, Hungary, 

(6) Pectiform pendant^ Hungary, f 


Early Bronze Age types of pin remained in use through- 
out the Middle Bronze Age. But the most characteristic 
native type had a mushroom head vertically pierced (Fig. 
23, no. 3) or with a lateral eyelet just below it. The 
bracelets tended to be massive and richly engraved. T*he 
ends are either thickened or coiled into opposing spiral 
disks (Fig. 1 5, no. 3). Hardly less distinctive are tHfe 
cylinders of bronze ribbon ending in wire spirals worn 
on the legs and arms (Fig. 23, no. 4). 

A great variety of pendants were sewn on the girdle, 1 
strung on necklaces, twisted in the locks or hung down 
over the breasts or the middle of the back. Most are of 
bronze, but gold specimens are known. Besides the 
hollow buttons and spiked tutuli, common also in other 
regions, many varieties of the sacral ivy-leaf pendant 
were manufactured in Hungary and exported thence as 
far as Alsace. Another important form is the pectiform 
or comb-shaped variety that formed a sort of tassel to 
ornamental chains hung down the back (Fig. 23, 5, 6). 
The gold spiral lock-rings, current already in the Early 
Bronze Age, continued to be worn. 

Great aesthetic taste was shown by the Hungarians 
both in the grace of their ornaments and in the magnifi- 
cent patterns engraved upon their weapons. In North 
Hungary in particular, scrolls luxuriate over the blades 
and butts of axes as lavishly as the more austere spirals oi 
contemporary Teutonic art (Fig. 23, no. i). 

The remains from the relatively sterile layer at T6szeg 
suffice to show that even in the first half of the Middle 
Bronze Age the Hungarians had at their command the 
motive power of horses. Apart from these layers and a 
few inhumation burials, connected deposits are rare as ii 
there had been a considerable exodus at the end of the 
Early Bronze Age. The lacuna may be the reflex of the 


abruptly appearing invaders of Italy described in the 
last section as the terremaricoli. Nevertheless before the 
period closes the abundant remains must betoken a large 
and settled population, descended from old local stocks. 
We rely for our information chiefly upon cemeteries 
which may be divided by burial rites and pottery into 
several groups. In the largest group termed Pannonian, 
extending from the Austrian borders south-eastward 
into Central Hungary, as well as in the cemeteries of the 
Banat and North-east Serbia that continue the same 
line, cremation was the sole rite observed. In Southern 
Hungary and Slavonia inhumations also occur, and in 
the extreme north-east the latter rite was alone practised. 

The tombs are poorly furnished with bronzes, but 
these conform to the Middle Bronze Age types familiar 
from the hoards. A wealth of vases counterbalances this 
poverty in metal grave goods. The ashes were enclosed 
in cinerary urns, in the Pannonian group generally 
great pitchers with trumpet-like necks, tall piriform 
bodies and one or two handles. The South Hungarian 
urns belong to the class of two-storied pots (Fig. 22, 
no. 6). The accessory vases and some urns are elaborately 
decorated. In the Pannonian group proper wide bands 
of true fretwork (excised, not stamped) are combined 
with stab-and-drag lines, uniting impressed concentric 
circles (Fig. 22, nos. 3, 4). In the more southerly groups 
fretwork is no longer used, while the incised lines often 
form running spirals, maeanders or rosettes. In the 
north-east the main decorative device was the conical 
wart, applied or pinched up and often surrounded by 
deep grooves. 

Both in Slavonia and Serbia art was also manifested 
in clay figurines decorated in the same style as the vases. 
They represent a female personage, wearing a richly 


embroidered bodice and a flounced skirt and decked 
with necklaces and pendants. The most famous idol 
of this class, found at Klievac in North Serbia, was 
unfortunately lost during the war. The same region has 
yielded model thrones, axes and other clay votives. 

The vase forms in most cases can be traced back to 
Early Bronze Age groups. Pannonian jugs and dishes 
have forerunners at Gata and T6szeg; the hour-glass 
mug of Perjamos reappears in the Banat cemeteries, 
Pannonian ware is decorated in just the same technique 
as the earlier Slavonian ware. Hence the Hungarian 
plain cannot have been entirely deserted by the Early 
Bronze Age population, though some of the original 
groups had shifted their territories or amalgamated with 


Stray flanged celts and flat daggers of bronze as well 
as bone copies of common bronze pins have been found 
in several of the later " Neolithic " lake-villages of 
Switzerland. It would seem that the pile-dwellers lived 
on in a stone age throughout the Early Bronze Age 
and part of the succeeding period. By that time, however, 
we find in the Rhone valley, but unconnected with 
the lacustrine settlements, graves furnished with a 
distinctive series of bronzes. The tombs are either small 
megalithic kists, containing a number of corpses, or 
individual graves without any barrow over them. The 
bronze industry, here represented, is inspired mainly by 
Bohemian and Hungarian traditions though there are 
some indications of influence from the Iberian Penin- 
sula. The types, however, developed along quite in- 
dividual lines. Distinctive are the spatuliform celts and 
the triangular daggers, often bronze-hilted. Besides 


pins with rolled or even knot-heads, trefoil and disk 
forms are characteristic, the latter being doubtless a 
local creation. So, in addition to simple rod bangles and 
ingot torques, broad bronze collars were developed in a 
specialized variant as described on p. 122. No pottery 
is known from these graves. 

The engraved bronzes illustrate a continued develop- 
ment of that system of purely rectilinear decoration 
that had been almost universal in the Early Bronze Age. 

The extent and age of the Rhone culture is not yet 
exactly determined. It is only mentioned here because, 
as we shall see, it is a prominent constituent of the 
oldest culture to which the name Keltic can be applied. 


In the British Isles the Middle Bronze Age is merely 
a continuation of the previous period, lacking the sharp 
demarcation observed in Italy or Southern Germany. 
Types distinctive of the period on the continent early 
palstaves, ogival daggers, rapiers, socketed spear-heads 
and button sickles are found stray or in hoards, 
particularly in the south; north of the Tay no rapiers 
have been reported and even early palstaves are rare. 
Yet there is no doubt that rapiers were actually manu- 
factured in England, since moulds for their production 
are found there practically the only known rapier 
moulds. These universal Middle Bronze Age shapes 
are associated in hoards with specialized local forms 
celts with broad flanges near the butt (Fig. 3, no. 4), 
tanged chisels, spear-heads with loops (Fig. 10, no. 4), 
true torques, wide armlets with horizontal ridges and a 
sort of pin with a gigantic ring-head. Even socketed 


sickles or double-edged razor blades are exceptionally 
associated with early palstaves and rapiers. 

Nevertheless, save for a few ogival daggers, no 
distinctively Middle Bronze Age types are found in 
graves. Yet some of our barrows must obviously be 
contemporary with our Middle Bronze Age hoards. 
We therefore assign to this phase cremated interments, 
accompanied by vessels of Early Bronze Age antecedents 
whose descendants admittedly belong to the Late Bronze 
Age. Yet such graves may contain flat triangular daggers, 
and even stone battle-axes, though not flint daggers. 

The pot form, thus marked out as Middle Bronze 
Age, is the so-called cinerary urn in its earlier versions. 
It is just an enlargement of the food vessel. The 
commonest type, originating probably in Southern 
England, is known as the overhanging-rim urn. It 
undergoes a regular typological degeneration during 
the period. The oldest form, which is partly contem- 
porary with the latest beakers, had an inverted conical 
body distinguished by a definite shoulder from the well- 
marked concave neck, which is surmounted by a broad 
overhanging rim or collar (Fig. 24, no. i). Before the 
end of the Middle Bronze Age the neck disappears, 
leaving us with rim and body only (Fig. 24, no. 2). In 
the Late Bronze Age further decadence produces cor- 
doned and bucket urns in which all that is left is one or 
two ridges encircling the body to represent the overhang 
of the original rim or this and also the shoulder below 
the former neck (Fig. 24, no. 3). A contemporary form, 
originating in Northern England or Scotland and un- 
known south of the Thames, is just a magnification of 
the classical food vessel with grooved shoulder. It is 
therefore termed an enlarged food vessel. 

These large pots are made of very coarse clay and 

Fig. 24. British cinerary urns. 

(1) Overhanging rim type, early. ^ (7) Cornish urn. ^ 

(2) Overhanging rim type, later form. f s (8) Globular urn. ^ 

(3) Cordoned urn, Scotland. T \ (9) Incense cup with slits. 

(4) Bucket urn, Dorset. ^ '- x T 1 

(5) Encrusted urn, Scotland. ^ 

(6) Urn of Type 3, group 2. ^ 

(10) Incense cup. 
(n) Grape cup. f 


lack any slip or polish. They are none the less elaborately 
decorated, principally on the wide collar or the bevelled 
moulding inside the lip. The ornamentation is executed 
with a cord, with a chain-looped braid, or by simple 
incision. The cog-wheel technique and false relief have 
been abandoned. The patterns are simple zig-zags, 
triangles, chequers, lattices, and herring-boning. 

Contemporary with these urns, often used like them 
to contain cremated remains and not seldom associated 
with them in the same grave, go a variety of small vases 
termed "incense cups" or "pigmy vessels". These are 
often of much finer clay than the big urns, but seldom 
approach the delicacy or technical excellence of beaker 
ware. The decoration includes incised lines combined 
with dots forming figures such as lozenges. One group 
of pigmy vessels, sometimes termed "grape cups", are 
covered with knobby projections (Fig. 24, no. 10). The 
latter, though quite different from the conical warts of 
Swabian and Hungarian pottery, recall the ornamen- 
tation on a class of Late Neolithic wares from the Danube 
basin. Another variety of incense cup has triangular slits 
in the walls, producing a sort of lattice effect (Fig. 24, 
no, 9). Perforations in the walls are indeed a common 
feature in the whole class of pigmy vessels. 

The funerary pottery and bronzes produce a rather 
depressing picture of our civilization at this date. That 
is to some extent offset by the discovery in graves of the 
period of cups of shale, amber and gold(88) that are, for 
their age, unique west of the Aegean. The shale and 
amber cups are simple flat-bottomed vessels with ribbon 
handles. In shape they recall the wooden cups from 
Denmark and seem also to have been turned on a pole 
lathe. Ornamental horizontal grooves may encircle the 
body, parallel to the rim, and decorate the handle. Five 


shale and two amber cups are known, all from Southern 
England, west of Brighton. The gold cup, from a cairn 
at Rillaton in Cornwall, is of similar shape, hammered 
out of a single piece of metal and decorated with 
horizontal corrugations. This group of vessels, unique 
in North-western Europe, shows that Britain had not 
lost her originality in the Middle Bronze Age. More- 
over, the islands retained their place in European trade. 
Amber was still imported from Denmark and beads of 
blue faience came by coastal routes from Crete or 
Egypt 1 . The most notable of the latter imports are the 
segmented beads. The type was current in Crete from 
the end of Middle Minoan times (1600 B.C.), but the 
trinkets found in Britain are said to resemble rather 
Egyptian specimens dated to the twelfth century. 
Similar beads or bone copies thereof have been found 
in late graves of El Argar type in South-eastern Spain 
and in megalithic tombs in South-west France and 
Brittany. Britain's principal export at this period would 
presumably be tin. But British and Irish gold torques, 
looped spear-heads and other British types of the Middle 
Bronze Age reached Northern France in considerable 
numbers. The spread of the palstave to Western Spain 
may also be connected with the Atlantic trade from the 
British Isles. 

Dwellings of the period in Britain cannot be dis- 
tinguished. It is possible, however, that hill camps 
were already being built. A hoard of rapier blades was, 
it is reported, unearthed at the bottom of the trench 
encircling that of Drumcoltram in Dumfriesshire. The 
fort stands, not on the summit of the hill, but on a spur 

1 Some authorities maintain that many of our vitreous beads were 
manufactured locally from slag. It remains certain that they imitate 
Aegean or Egyptian models. 



projecting westward from the hill about 675 feet above 
sea-level. The neck and flanks of the spur are defended 
by a wide annular moat, 9 feet deep and 30 wide at the 
brim. The upcast from it has been piled up inside to 
form a rampart 9 feet high. A causeway 8 feet wide 
leads across the moat to a gap in the rampart. The fort 
is a good example of the simpler type widely distributed 
in the British Isles. The majority at least of the more 
complex forms belong to the Iron Age. 

For the rest, life in prehistoric Britain had undergone 
no visible change since the Karly Bronze Age. Only 
after the lapse of a considerable interval was our rather 
sleepy development rudely interrupted by the Late 
Bronze Age invasion. 

Bronze figure 
from Sardinia 



Y N contrast to the apparent peace and prosperity of the 
JL preceding period, the Late Bronze Age was an epoch 
of turmoil and migration though it witnessed immense 
industrial and economic progress, forced upon the 
barbarians by these times of stress. The growth of 
population in the tranquil centuries of the Middle 
Bronze Age among peoples who had not yet settled 
down to the laborious methods of really sedentary 
cultivation resulted for the first time in a genuine 
pressure and congestion on the land. Climatic condi- 
tions intensified drought followed ultimately by a 
return to moister and colder conditions that favoured 
the spread of forest at the expense of pastures may 
have aggravated the land hunger in individual areas. 
The cumulative effect of these factors was to produce a 
bitter struggle for the fertile valleys in Central Europe 
and the uprooting of small hordes. The regime of 
bloody tribal wars, later described so grimly in the 
pages of Tacitus and profitable only to the Roman 
slave-dealer, had already been inaugurated. The reper- 
cussions of the turmoil reached Britain on the one hand 
and the East Mediterranean coast on the other, there 
to be complicated by events in Asia that still elude our 
ken. But the Mycenaean civilization collapsed under 
barbarian pressure, and northerners overran Anatolia, 
threatening the Egyptian and Hittite Empires. 

These latter disturbances hampered mining and 
metallurgy in Asia Minor. And Assyrian military 
requisitions and monopolistic control of ores further 


restricted the supply. At the same time the state of 
universal war increased the demand to unprecedented 
proportions. In continental Europe we witness not only 
the struggle for land but also one for the control of 
ores, accompanied by a great intensification of mining 
activities and the growth of a trade in scrap-metal, 
marked by the so-called founders' hoards. In Hither 
Asia the contest for booty was equally accompanied by 
a quest for new supplies of metal. The merchants and 
craftsmen of Phoenicia in particular, cut off by barbarian 
inroads and Assyrian monopolies from local supplies, 
sought compensations in the West. As at the beginning 
of the Age of Metals, fresh bands of prospectors sailed 
from the Eastern Mediterranean, combining kidnapping 
and piracy with legitimate trade as the Odyssey so brightly 
indicates. Their activities helped to introduce to the 
western world the secret of the new metal, iron, and a 
whole series of new types and processes. 

Yet the westward tracks of Oriental traders crossed 
paths already furrowed at an earlier date by pirate 
galleys from the West Mediterranean isles. The raiders 
whose descents on the Oriental empires are such a 
feature of the thirteenth and twelfth centuries before 
our era may, when finally repulsed, have carried with 
them westward some of the arts and organization learnt 
during periods of mercenary service under Hittites and 
Egyptians. Despite the doubts of eminent Orientalists, 
the Shardana, Shakalasha and Tursha who harried the 
confines of Egypt were surely in some sense Sardinians, 
Sicilians and Etruscans. Whether they hailed in the 
first instance from Sardinia, Sicily and Italy or only 
retreated there after failures on the eastern coasts, is 
far more doubtful (90). Certain it is that the islands and 
peninsula were the seats of a curious Late Bronze Age 

CBA 3 


civilization which, despite a strong Oriental flavour, 
was based at least industrially on Central European 
rather than on Aegean or Asiatic traditions. The penin- 
sula and islands being now incorporated in the conti- 
nental economic system and having taken over from the 
Aegean the role of mediators in the diffusion of Oriental 
inventions, a few words on the cultures of Sicily, 
Sardinia and Italy in the age of transition from bronze 
to iron will form a necessary prelude to any account of 
events north of the Alps. 

At the same time one general aspect of life in the 
latter region and also in the East Mediterranean area 
must be touched upon here; I refer to the spread of 
cremation cemeteries termed urnfields a phenomenon 
already attributed to the Middle Bronze Age in Hun- 
gary and Upper Italy, but now becoming general from 
the Euphrates to the Irish Channel. The bodies of the 
dead were cremated, their ashes enshrined in cinerary 
urns and these buried close together with other vessels 
in extensive cemeteries, termed urnfields. The grave is 
seldom marked by a barrow; on the other hand cinerary 
urns were often deposited as secondary interments in 
earlier barrows. In several parts of Central Europe it 
was the practice to bore a hole through the walls or 
base of the cinerary urn. German archaeologists term 
such an aperture the ghost-hole (Seelenloch\ believing 
that it was designed to allow the soul of the departed to 
escape from the jar that contained his mortal remains. 

It should be remembered that cremation was not a 
new rite, first introduced during the Late Bronze Age, 
Even in Early Helladic graves on Levkas we find burnt 
human bones enclosed in large jars. And there are 
instances of Neolithic cremations from Central Europe, 
Brittany and England. Isolated instances occur widely 


during the Early Bronze Age, and the practice was by 
no means rare in the Tumulus culture of the Middle 
Bronze Age. To the same period we have assigned a 
number of barrows covering inurned ashes from the 
British Isles. Even urnfields may, in Hungary and 
North Italy, go back to the Middle Bronze Age, but 
they become general first in the Late Bronze Age or the 
contemporary Early Iron Age of Greece and Syria. 

Conversely it must be insisted that inhumation was 
not universally abandoned in the latter period. It 
remained the regular rite in the Illyrian regions, South- 
ern Italy, Sicily and Macedonia till well on in the Iron 
Age and was still freely practised also west of the Rhine 
and in parts of Greece. Nowhere, indeed, would burial 
rite alone constitute a reliable criterion of age. More- 
over, in view of the wide distribution of the rite in 
earlier times, the racial movements inferred simply from 
the appearance of cremation in Greece and Syria at the 
beginning of the Early Iron Age (equivalent there to 
our Late Bronze Age) are very insecurely based. 

We begin our account of Late Bronze Age cultures 
with Italy and the adjacent isles, even though iron was 
rapidly replacing bronze there; for in the Early Iron 
Age deposits we find bronze tools of the types still 
exclusively used north of the Alps, and in the latter 
regions types of the more southern Iron Age appear in a 
purely Bronze Age context. Greece on the other hand 
may still be excluded as having no direct influence on 
the bronze industry north of the Alps after its very 
early passage into the Iron Age. 


During the earlier phases of the Bronze Age, as in 
the previous Copper Age, the culture of Sicily (44) had 


maintained an essentially East Mediterranean character. 
During the first half of Orsi's Siculan II period, which 
corresponds to our Middle Bronze Age, the native 
culture had been dominated by Minoan industry and 
art. Palaces were built with stone foundations as in 
Greece, and shrines furnished with ritual objects of a 
Minoan character. The dead were buried in rock-hewn 
family vaults reminiscent of the usual Mycenaean 
chamber tombs, though carrying on a tradition rooted 
in the island since the Copper Age (Orsi's Siculan I). 
The Siculan II bronzes are inspired directly by Minoan 
models, though mostly of local manufacture. So we 
find long rapiers referable to Type II a from the Shaft 
Graves of Mycenae (p. 82) and daggers equally of 
Minoan ancestry. The common razors (Fig. 12, no. 3), 
though a specifically Siculan variant, have likewise 
Cretan prototypes. Fibulae of violin-bow form were 
worn as east of the Adriatic. And direct imports from 
Greece were plentiful: the early tombs are furnished 
with a comparative abundance of Mycenaean (L.M. Ill) 
vases and Late Minoan beads were worn. 

In the later half of the Siculan II period, represented 
by cemeteries like Cassibile and Finnochito, farther 
inland than those described above, the industrial 
orientation of the island had changed. The dead were 
indeed still often buried in chamber tombs, a habit 
which persisted into the full Iron Age or Siculan III. 
The pottery, too, preserved native traditions enlarged 
by the inclusion of orientalizing forms such as askoi. 
The safety-pins evolved farther along the separate lines 
sketched on p. 114. But the remaining bronzes tend 
to conform more and more to standard types current 
at the same period in Upper Italy and the Late Bronze 
Age north of the Alps. 


Shaft-hole axes indeed persist in a local form even 
into Sicilian III, but beside them we find in hoards 
winged celts, socketed celts and lug-adzes. The spear- 
heads have proper cast sockets and sometimes eyelets in 
the base of the blade. The commonest razors now 
conform exactly to the rectangular "Villanovan" type 
with the handle riveted on (Fig. 12, no. 8) despite 
some interesting transitional forms with maple leaf 
blades and flat tangs. This is the period of the serpentine 
and elbow fibulae (Fig. 14, no. 15) supplemented by 
simple arcs. 

A very similar culture reigned at the same time in 
Southern Italy, a region that had always been closely 
allied to Sicily since Neolithic times. One notable type, 
assignable strictly to the local Iron Age, was a short 
sword provided with a flange carried right round the 
flat tang to hold the plates of the hilt and the pommel. 
The type is directly derived from a familiar L.M. Ill 
short sword, 

In both regions large founders* hoards (93) attest at 
once an economic reorganization and social disturbance. 
Both Oriental and northern elements have been obtruded 
upon the native culture in a manner not yet plain. At 
the same time the resultant cultures exerted an influence 
on the West as the Siculan fibulae from the hoard at 
Huelva show (92). How the Siculan and South Italian 
spear-heads with eyelets in the base of the blade are 
related to the similar and contemporary British type 
is less clear. 


Far more insular and consequently puzzling is the 
vigorous civilization that grew up in the great island 
farther north. Sardinia is rich in copper and silver* 


Even during the Copper Age (3) it had been an impor- 
tant centre of population and industry. Elaborate rock- 
cut tombs, sometimes carved with bulls' protomae and 
including marble statuettes among their grave goods, 
disclose Aegean inspiration. On the other hand, 
numerous bell-beakers and West European daggers 
are clearly occidental features. A similar blending of 
Eastern and Western traits characterizes the Late 
Bronze Age of the island. 

Chambered tombs continued to be used as burial 
places even then, but have for the most part been 
plundered. The period is better known from dwellings 
peculiar round towers termed nuraghi. The Sardinian 
Bronze Age is therefore often alluded to as the nuragic 

A nuraghe(95) is an approximately conical tower, built 
without mortar, of rough, almost megalithic blocks. 
The only external opening was a low, tunnel-like door- 
way that eventually gave access to a large beehive- 
chamber. A winding stair in the thickness of the wall 
led to one or more upper storeys of similar plan. The 
nuraghi were evidently the castles of martial chieftains. 
At their feet clustered the round beehive huts of their 
peasant henchmen. Such strongholds are strung out at 
relatively short intervals along the valleys or fertile 
plains, evidently implying a peculiar clan organization 
in which the need for defence outweighed all other 

In addition to the fortresses a number of partly coeval 
structures of a sacral character have recently been 
explored by Prof. Taramelli(97). These generally include 
subterranean sanctuaries from which numerous votive 
bronzes may be recovered. That at Santa Anastasia 
consisted of an outer temple with a fafade of dressed 


stone, from which a flight of steps led down to a circular 
pit covered with a corbelled roof. 

The castles had been long occupied and repeatedly 
plundered, leaving few relics of their original occupants, 
A better idea of the bronze industry of the nuragic age 
may be obtained from numerous hoards (96) that testify 
in some cases to the piety of the islanders, in others to 
the disturbed conditions of the times. These depots 
belong for the most part to a time when iron was already 
in general use on the Italian mainland, but still contain 
archaic types, directly descended from quite ancient 
models and accordingly produced by a school of crafts- 
men whose divergent specialization must have begun 
in pure Bronze Age times. Their archaic traditions are 
rooted mainly in continental workshops. Few industrial 
types or weapons are East Mediterranean or Asiatic, 
though eastern influences are conspicuous in the votive 
bronzes. So, among the axes, curiously splayed flanged 
celts, two-eared palstaves and two-looped socketed celts 
were the commonest types current. (The founders' 
hoards contain also old Copper Age flat celts collected 
for recasting.) On the other hand, double-axes and 
axe-adzes might be Aegean types, though the tubular 
projection that surrounds the shaft-hole is more remini- 
scent of Hungary. Again the typical weapons are 
curious bronze-hilted daggers, rather like Early Bronze 
Age forms, or very archaic triangular or ogival types, 
swords with pronounced midrib and spur for the hilt 
or flanged tang. Socketed spear-heads, socketed sickles 
and rectangular razors, resembling the Villanovan blades 
but that the handle was cast in one piece with the blade, 
are also conspicuous. The rather rough pottery includes 
notably askoi and jugs with thrown-back necks and cut- 
away lips, both old Aegean and Anatolian shapes. 


In the nuragic sanctuaries and hoards we find an 
extraordinary variety of votive statuettes and models 
in bronze. Figures of warriors, crude and barbaric in 
execution but full of life, are particularly common. The 
warrior was armed with a dagger and bow-and-arrows or 
a sword, covered with a two-horned helmet and pro- 
tected by a circular buckler. The dress and armament 
leave no doubt as to the substantial identity of the 
Sardinian infantryman with the raiders and mercenaries 
depicted on Egyptian monuments as "Shardana". At 
the same time numerous votive barques, also of bronze, 
demonstrate the importance of the sea in Sardinian life. 

This extraordinary culture accordingly shows indica- 
tions of relations with the West two-eared palstaves, 
socketed sickles with Hungary and even perhaps with 
the Caucasus (statuettes and other models very like the 
Sardinian have turned up there) in addition to Central 
Europe and Upper Italy. Amber beads from the 
nuraghi may even mean connections with the far North. 
Were the Sardinian smiths originative innovators whose 
new models were carried westward and imitated there, 
or merely slaves who copied at the dictation of their 
pirate masters the odd types the latter picked up in 
distant raids ? And how are the nuraghi related to the 
Scottish brochs, similar in several architectural details 
and evidently symptomatic of an analogous clan organi- 
zation ? Above all, were the Sardinians of the Late 
nay belated -Bronze Age descendants of the Copper 
Age population who had seen service under Egyptians 
and Hittites, or did new arrivals from Asia Minor or 
the Caucasus dominate these ? Such questions inevitably 
rise only to be dismissed as unsolved. 



While Sicily, South Italy and Sardinia were new 
and by no means secure acquisitions of the continental 
economic province, it had included Upper Italy since 
the beginning of the Bronze Age. There, as noted in 
the last chapter, the dominant cultural group during 
the Middle Bronze Age was that of the terremaricoli who 
even penetrated to the extreme South as well. A later 
phase in the same people's culture is illustrated by the 
urnfields of Bismantova and Fontanella south of the Po, 
of Pianello in the Marche (East Central Italy) and 
Timmari in Apulia. 

These cemeteries are marked as later than the typical 
terremare by the types of razor, safety-pin and bracelet. 
The razor has a quadrangular blade with separate handle 
riveted on (Fig. 1 2, no. 8). In addition to violin-bow 
fibulae, generally with beads on, and sometimes with 
figure 8 twists in (after the style of Fig. 14, no. 14), the 
bow, simple arched bows and others with two loops were 
current. Ingot torques with twisted wire bodies and 
wire finger-rings with spiral ends were also worn. The 
distinctive pot form is already a storeyed or biconical 
urn. Such consist of a base in the form of an inverted 
conical bowl with inturned rim surmounted by a conical 
neck with everted lip. The parts are separated by a 
pronounced shoulder rather than a keel. The ornament, 
restricted to the upper cone, is limited to incised tri- 
angles, chevrons, "|_J~ or cO figures and dimples or 
warts encircled by grooves (Fig. 25, no. i), A hoard, 
of the same date (Randall-Maclver considers it later), 
indicates that cups of beaten bronze, decorated with 
embossed knobs, were already in use. These cemeteries 
may be dated between 1200 and 1050 B.C. 


A little later a belt of Italy from the Adige to the 
Tiber is found to be thickly settled by an industrious 
folk, termed Villanovans after the suburb of Bologna 
where their culture was first identified. Pigorini and his 
disciples hold that they were just the descendants of the 
terremaricoli\ they would then be the Umbri and Latini 
of Roman tradition. Randall-Maclver prefers to invoke 
a second invasion from an unknown "Hungary" to 
explain the Villanovans. Assuming the first interpreta- 
tion to be the more correct, as it is the more economical, 
we may call the northern Villanovans Umbrians, the 
southern ones, differentiated from the former by minor 
peculiarities, Latins. We must note, too, that the 
Villanovan culture is divided between three chrono- 
logical phases, termed respectively Benacci I, Benacci II 
and Arnoaldi after the peasants on whose farms typical 
cemeteries were dug up. Iron was in use throughout 
these three periods and the two last are excluded 
altogether from the purview of this book. 

The Villanovans, like their ancestors of the terremare^ 
were primarily peasant farmers, living in mean huts 
grouped in villages of very modest size. The round huts 
themselves with walls of wattle and daub are represented 
for us by the models used as ossuaries among the 
"Latins" (Fig. 25, no. 5); the famous temple of Vesta 
preserves a glorified version of the same primitive 

But these farming communities included skilled 
metal-workers and traders. Round Bologna vast depots 
of scrap-metal, the so-called " foundries M , have been 
discovered. Old tools, weapons and ornaments were 
gathered here for resmelting from every corner of 
Europe as the types included in the hoards show; even 
British socketed sickles are represented. In return for 




such scrap, for ores, gold, amber and salt, Villanovan 
bronzes were exported as far as Denmark and Transyl- 
vania. At the same time relations, direct or indirect, 
were maintained with the Eastern Mediterranean; 
glass beads from Villanovan graves leave no doubt on 
this score. Villanovan bronze work agrees too closely 
with Phoenician and Assyrian for the resemblance to be 
accidental. And from that quarter came eventually 
knowledge of the new metal, iron. In Benacci I times, 
however, that material is represented only by a few 
small objects that might have been imports. 

The graves were simply holes in the ground, some- 
times lined with stone slabs, in which the cinerary urn 
was deposited. The ossuary itself was sometimes en- 
closed within a large jar termed a dolion^ especially in 
Etruria and Latium. In this region, too, a receptacle 
hollowed out of a block of stone occasionally replaced 
the dolion* The dolion is generally a rough two-storeyed 
jar. The Villanovan ossuary is equally two storeyed. It 
resembles a bowl with inverted rim and a horizontal 
handle, surmounted by a conical neck with splayed rim. 
It is, that is, a biconical urn closely related to those 
from Bismantova or Pianello, though with a broader 
shoulder (Fig. 25, no. 2). Often it was actually made of 
two pieces of hammered bronze united by rivets. More 
commonly the vessel is of black carboniferous pottery 
ornamented with elaborate maeanders, triangles, lozen- 
ges and rosettes. Sometimes small bronze studs were 
set in the clay to enhance the effect. As noted, the Latins 
used hut models as ossuaries. The urn was covered in 
the Umbrian area by a dish, in the Latin often by a 
helmet. While cremation was the general rite, isolated 
inhumation graves are known from all districts. 

The commonest tools are celts with terminal wings 


and very wide blades, knives with a spur-like tang, 
quadrangular double-edged razors (Fig. 12, no, 8) 
or semilunar single-edged specimens (a later type), 
tweezers and fish-hooks. The best known weapon is 
the socketed spear-head, but antennae swords (Fig. 8, 
no. 1 1) were imported and presumably used. The head 
was protected with ovoid bronze casques, surmounted 
by broad, decorated crests. Horses were controlled by 
bronze bits, the cheek-pieces in some instances taking 
the form of stylized steeds. Among the ornaments may 
be mentioned broad girdles of hammered bronze, pins 
surmounted by small knobs or terminating in a shep- 
herd's crook, simple arc fibulae and early developments 
thereof, massive bracelets with overlapping ends, and 
ribbon cylinders. Besides ossuaries, cups and buckets 
(situlae) were made of hammered bronze. 

Villanovan art is unmistakable. The vases, girdles 
and helmets of bronze are decorated with rows of 
bosses, beads or concentric rings, all embossed, and 
sometimes supplemented by engraved lines that re- 
produce the patterns known already from the pottery. 
A very distinctive and popular motive is moreover a 
pair of birds' heads projecting from a circle or wheel 
(Fig. 27, no. 3). The design is presumably a solar symbol 
connected with the sun disk of the Egyptians probably 
through a Hittite or Phoenician variant. 


The knowledge of iron-working naturally traversed 
the Alps from Italy with a material retardation, so that 
even throughout Benacci I times a pure Late Bronze 
Age was ruling in Central Europe. Here two or three 
great urn field groups succeed the Early Bronze Age 
cultures in the fertile valleys and along the riverine 


trade routes while the Tumulus culture persists in the 
uplands and heaths, modified by these neighbours. 

The most conspicuous of the urnfield cultures is 
known by the name of Lausitz, a part of Saxony and 
Western Silesia where it is richly represented. It 
originated there or farther east out of Aunjetitz antece- 
dents, possibly mixed with other undefined ingredients. 
From this cradle it spread to occupy the whole area 
from the Saale to the Vistula and from the Spree to the 
Austrian Danube and the Slovakian mountains. 

The Lausitz folk were primarily peasant farmers, but 
were at pains to control trade routes and supplies of ore. 
In their communities dwelt competent smiths whose 
moulds, anvils and founders' hoards have come down 
to us. The people dwelt probably in log-cabins, built of 
trunks laid horizontally and supported by posts, quite 
like the dwellings of American pioneers. The houses 
were normally long one-roomed halls with the entry on 
the small side. 

The dead were cremated, and their ashes, enclosed in 
cinerary urns, deposited in extensive cemeteries, some- 
times under a barrow. The characteristic Lausitz ossuary 
is constituted by two truncated cones placed base to 
base. It was normally covered by a dish and ac- 
companied by a high-handled mug, an amphora and a 
rough pot. In later graves, vases with side spouts, termed 
feeding-bowls, vessels in the shape of animals, and clay 
rattles occur. Apart from the rough pots, Lausitz vases 
are generally smooth and often burnished. At first they 
were buff in colour; later dark-faced wares became more 
popular, and graphite was even used to intensify the 
effect. The ossuary is normally plain, save for scratches 
radiating from the base. Other vessels were decorated 
at first with large conical warts projecting out of a round 




depression. Later warts gave place to flutings or 
corrugations, oblique or forming semicircles (Fig. 26). 
The Lausitz people used celts with terminal wings 
and an ear, or a socketed form, knives with a spur for 
the attachment of the handle or with a metal handle 
terminating in a ring, button sickles and eventually 
horse-shoe razors and tweezers. But celts and perforated 
axes of stone, arrow-heads of flint or bone and many 
implements of horn and bone were still used. The 
favourite weapons were spears with lanceolate socketed 
heads, and arrows, tipped with flint, bone or socketed 
bronze points, supplemented by comparatively rare 
swords with flanged tangs. The horse had certainly 

been domesticated. He was controlled by bits ending: 
i_ i i J & 

in horn cheek-pieces. 

Common ornaments in Lausitz graves are pins with a 
vertically pierced eyelet in a spur projecting from the 
shaft, massive armlets with overlapping tapering ends, 
cylinders, ingot torques with twisted body, finger-rings 
of several coils of wire terminating in spirals, spectacle- 
spiral pendants and flat buttons with a loop on the back. 
Safety-pins were rarely worn; all were of the two- 
member family with a flattened oval bow. Beads of 
glass or amber are only occasionally found in graves. 
Gold, on the other hand, chiefly in the form of wire, is 
not uncommon in Bohemian settlements. The precious 
metal must have been carried in this form as a medium 
of exchange, but curious ornaments were made by 
plaiting gold wire together. Finally in the later phase 
of the Lausitz culture a few bronze cups of Italian 
style found their way to Bohemia. 

This culture was cradled, as we have indicated, in a 
southerly corner of the North European plain. Thence 
it spread over the mountains into Bohemia and across 


Moravia into Lower Austria and Slovakia. On the 
borders of its homeland it grew into the so-called 
Silesian culture which likewise spread southward and 
was flourishing in Eastern Bohemia and Moravia when 
iron was introduced into those regions along the amber 
trade route from Italy to East Prussia. 

In Central Bohemia the Lausitz invaders met the 
people of the Tumulus culture advancing from the 
West as well as remnants of the old Aunjetitz popula- 
tion. Under these conditions there arose here in the 
latest Bronze Age (Kraft E) a specialized group, termed 
the Knovi'z culture, which deserves a brief mention. 
Besides its urnfield cemeteries we know here deep pits, 
some perhaps dwellings, others rubbish pits or silos. 
In the latter we find, together with broken animal bones 
and other kitchen refuse, human bones, hacked about 
with knives and split to extract the marrow. Evidently 
cannibalism was not unknown to this people in Central 
Europe. Civil servants, engaged in suppressing the 
practice in Africa or New Guinea, may like to remember 
that it was current in Europe 3000 years ago, and that 
among a comparatively advanced group. For the can- 
nibals made splendid pots. Their cinerary urns are 
based upon a degenerate Lausitz ossuary that has lost 
its angularity, surmounted by a swelling neck, so as to 
give the impression of two vases one on the top of the 
other. Broad-brimmed bowls with twisted pillar-like 
handles rising from the shoulder also deserve mention. 


The Knoviz culture already shows the influence of 
the South-west Bohemian Tumulus culture which in its 
turn had been profoundly modified by contact with a 
second group of urnfields. The latter had developed on 

CBA 14 


the Upper Danube and its tributaries in Austria, Bavaria 
and the Tyrol, whence it spread down the Rhine and 
across Switzerland. This Alpine culture is a far less 
coherent group than the Lausitz ; probably it had several 
roots constituting originally distinct groups, and no 
doubt it absorbed in its expansion diverse elements. It 
may have originated among some descendants of Early 
Bronze Age folk dwelling in the valleys (at Gemeinlebarn 
in Lower Austria and Straubing in Bavaria both periods 
are represented in the same cemetery), influenced (what- 
ever that may mean) by Hungarian groups, the Lausitz 
culture and its neighbours, the tumulus-builders. Lausitz 
"influence" is certainly patent in the use of typical 
Lausitz ossuaries in Lower Austria and even far away 
in the Tyrol. Some indeed would contend that it was 
constitutive: the whole group would owe its rise and 
specific character to an actual infusion of Lausitz folk, 
perhaps as an organizing force bringing together other 
communities. That certainly is a simple explanation, 
perhaps too simple. 

Yet in its general character the North Alpine culture 
was very similar to the Lausitz, though richer and more 
warlike. Its authors dwelt in log-cabins or pit-dwellings. 
They walled off projecting spurs of the mountains (pro- 
montory forts) or defended hill-tops, the walls in each case 
being of stone and turf, strengthened with a palisade (98). 
As elsewhere, these fortifications would be places of 
refuge rather than permanent villages; the latter were 
probably situated in the valleys. The miners of the 
Tyrolese copper lodes and the rock-salt of Hallstatt, 
whose methods have been sketched in an earlier chapter, 
belonged to our North Alpine group. And the rich 
cemetery of Hallstatt, that gives its name to the First 
Iron Age in Central Europe, is an urnfield of the type 


described below, though of later date. The long timbered 
galleries, the shafts and ladders and other workings 
which the visitor to Hallstatt may still admire are 
apparently pure Bronze Age, 

Cremation was of course the normal burial rite, and 
an urn was deposited in every grave. Sometimes, 
however, the ashes were laid outside it. The urn itself, 
often very large, was globular or piriform, but always 
provided with a cylindrical neck surmounted by a 
projecting brim (Fig. 25, no. 3). It might serve as a 
dolion containing the ossuary proper, generally a smaller 
version of the same type. In the Tyrol the ossuaries* 
rims are supported by twisted pillar-like handles (hence 
the name " pillar urns"). The walls may be decorated 
with warts and " false cord impressions'' obtained by 
rolling a twisted ring over the soft clay. With such 
cylinder-neck urns true Lausitz ossuaries are sometimes 
encountered as noted above. The accessory vases 
jugs, dishes, and cups are usually fine, often polished 
with graphite and decorated with incised patterns, 
flutings, or conical warts. 

Typical implements are celts (axes and adzes) with 
terminal wings and an ear (Fig. 3, no. 8), socketed 
chisels and gouges, a wide variety of single-bladed 
knives, grooved sickles, fish-hooks, and razors with an 
openwork metal handle, at first with an irregular oval 
blade slit at the end, later horse-shoe shaped (Fig. 12, 
no. 7). The distinctive weapons are slashing swords 
with richly engraved bronze hilts or with flanged tangs, 
giving place later (Kraft E) to Hungarian, Morigen and 
antennae types. In addition to swords the warrior used 
spears with socketed heads, and bronze-tipped arrows. 

A wealth of ornaments is found in these graves in 
contrast to the poor Lausitz interments. The commonest 



pins have large poppy, vase (Fig. 14, no. 1 i), turban or 
bulb heads. Safety-pins of violin-bow type are found 
sporadically in the Tyrol, and others with a wiry bow 
twisted in figure 8's and terminating in a horizontal 
spiral catch-plate, in Bavaria, Massive bracelets deco- 
rated with ribs (Fig. 15, no. i) encircled the arms. 
The girdle was fastened with disk-shaped clasps. On it 
or on a necklace were hung pendants in the form of a 
wheel as well as glass, amber, and gold beads and 
spectacle-spirals of bronze wire. Gold disks ornamented 
with rings of stamped circles have been found in some 
graves and were doubtless solar symbols. 

Finally vessels of beaten bronze occur even in the 
earlier phase (Reinecke and Kraft D). The commonest 
are cups decorated with embossed circles as in Italy. 
But a contemporary barrow at Milave in Bohemia 
contained a remarkable bronze bowl, shaped like the 
usual cinerary urn but mounted on a little wheeled 

In art a revival of spiral decoration is to be observed 
on sword hilts of phase D. But even then concentric 
circles and arcs were commoner, and in phase E these 
alone survive. 

In addition to the solar symbolism of the pendants, 
curious cult objects now meet us in the settlements. 
These are made of clay in the form of a pair of horns and 
very likely served as firedogs, the hearth being of course 
a place of sanctity. None the less these objects are 
derived in the last resort from the "Horns of Conse- 
cration " that had played a prominent part in Minoan 
cult from Early Minoan times till the collapse of the 
Mycenaean culture. 

The urnfields just described were in their earlier 
phases concentrated in the valleys of the Upper Danube, 


the Inn and the Isar. In the highlands on every side the 
tumulus-builders lived on still. But they now practised 
cremation regularly, though seldom, save in Bohemia, 
enclosing the ashes in cinerary urns. Their pottery was 
profoundly influenced by that of the urnfields, and most 
of the bronze types just described might also be found 
under barrows. The old bronze-studded wooden targe 
was now at times replaced by a buckler of hammered 
bronze. Unlike the British products, the Bohemian and 
South German shields are definitely convex all over and 
lack any distinct umbo. They were strengthened with 
concentric ridges hammered up from the inner side and 
were manipulated by a pair of small handles and one big 
central handle (Fig. 30). 

The North Alpine urnfield culture is of such import- 
ance in British archaeology that its development during 
the last phase of the Bronze Age (Kraft E, Reinecke 
Hallstatt A) and into the Early Iron Age deserves a 
rather more detailed examination. Two zones must be 
distinguished. The inner zone, extending northward to 
the Main with its core in Switzerland and Bavaria, was 
nourished by the industry of the lake-dwellings and the 
trade of the western amber route. 

The Bronze Age lake-villages of Switzerland and 
Upper Bavaria seem to result from the synoecism of 
older pile-hamlets ( ioo) effected under the leadership of 
the urnfield folk with the collaboration of the authors of 
the Rh6ne culture and perhaps of immigrants from 
Upper Italy (53). The new pile-villages, situated farther 
from the present shore than their neolithic forerunners, 
were regular industrial settlements. Individual villages 
would even specialize in the manufacture of a particular 
kind of article for instance, armlets. Their manufactures 
were exported to Hungary, Silesia and the North Sea. 


In return, Danish bronzes and amber, Hungarian swords, 
Villanovan horse-trappings and metal vessels flowed in. 
Stimulated by the blended traditions of their compatriots 
and by contact with foreign centres of industry, the 
clever smiths devised original types of tool, weapon and 

Noteworthy among these are knives like Fig. 1 1 , 
no. 7, antennae and Morigen swords (Fig. 8, no. 10), 
horse-shoe razors (Fig. 12, no, 7), pins with hollow 
globular heads decorated with inlaid eyes, and great 
hollow bracelets either closed and kidney-shaped (Nieren- 
ringe) or with open splayed-out ends. More generalized 
types of course occur. While socketed chisels and gouges 
were quite the rule, winged celts with the wings near the 
butt and a loop (Fig. 3, no. 8) were far commoner than 
socketed celts. Bronze bits (Fig. 13, no. 7) were manu- 
factured to control the horses though those with horn 
cheek-pieces remained in use. 

The fine black or grey pottery includes most urnfield 
forms and, in addition, globular vessels with a narrow 
out-turned rim, and tulip-shaped beakers with an almost 
pointed base. Fluted decoration, fretwork, as in the 
Tumulus culture, and very neat engraved patterns, often 
curvilinear, adorned the vases. A rare technique was to 
inlay the depression of the fretwork with tin. The latest 
vases show the polychrome decoration of Hallstatt types 
stripes blackened with graphite on a ferruginous red 

The art of the lake-dwellings (52) is characterized 
above all by the minute exactness with which the linear 
patterns were executed. The patterns themselves include 
circles and semicircles but no spirals. Some pots, how- 
ever, exhibit a sort of maeander in which the angles have 
been rounded off. In this connection we may note, too, 


rattles of animal form and the horn-shaped fire-dogs 
already described. 

The civilization of the lake-dwellings in Bavaria, 
Switzerland and Savoy, begun already in Reinecke's 
phase D of the Bronze Age, reached its zenith in the 
succeeding phase but lasted into the Early Iron Age 
(Reinecke's Hallstatt B). In that period invaders sacked 
the villages, while a recurrence of moister climatic 
conditions led to their final desertion. But by that time 
urnfield folk, whose funerary pottery shows them to be 
directly descended from the lake-dwellers, were settling 
in Northern Spain. 

The urnfield people from the Danube basin occupied 
the valleys of the Rhine, the Neckar and the Main, 
bringing in their train Swiss and Bavarian elements and 
absorbing others from the native Tumulus groups. Thus 
we find inhumations as well as cremations. Throughout 
this area the essential features of the urnfield culture in 
its later phase were well maintained, and Swiss bronzes 
circulated freely. But directly we cross the Main or 
the Saone we enter impoverished provincial regions 
where archaic urnfield types persisted in a context that 
transcends the limits of the pure Bronze Age. The urn- 
field folk spread, that is, both into Holland and Central 
France, but lost touch with the creative centre and 
became economically isolated. 

We have already described the gradual spread of the 
Tumulus culture across Central France. Particularly 
in Aube we have many burials of this class assignable to 
phase D(4). But the tumulus-builders were followed 
by urnfield folk. A cemetery of this type, discovered 
at Pouges-les-Eaux, Nivre(io 2 ), is the best available 
evidence of this, though many sherds labelled "Sge 
du bronze" in French museums indicate a wider 


distribution for the culture. At Pouges, as on the Rhine, 
inhumations occurred side by side with cremations. The 
bronzes included two razors, one with openwork handle 
of the type current on the Upper Danube in phase D, 
the other flat-tanged like some Sicilian and all British 
blades (Fig. 12, no. 10). The pots on the contrary look 
rather like degenerate versions of the types current in 
Switzerland during phase E (Hallstatt A), to which also 
most of the pins could be assigned. It looks almost as 
if a band of urnfield folk had clung tenaciously to some 
types current in their homeland at the time of their 
departure while adopting contemporary models in other 
directions. At the same time the hoards doi) suggest that 
South-eastern France was winning a certain independ- 
ence of Central European traditions and was susceptible 
to currents coming, not from the Danube or Upper 
Italy, but from Sardinia and Sicily. 

The phenomena observed on the Lower Rhine in 
Belgium and Holland in other respects reproduce those 
noticed in France. The urnfield folk spread thither 
slowly and mixed with tumulus-builders. Urnfield types 
of vases, all very degenerate, persisted well into the 
Hallstatt period. Scarcely any bronzes are found in 
graves, and hoards are inordinately rare. Still razors of 
archaic form occur as in France. 


The Teutonic craftsmen in Denmark, Sweden and 
North Germany maintained the high standard of skill 
achieved during the Middle Bronze Age. The austere 
beauty of the earlier art was, however, sacrificed in the 
more florid products of the later. In general, Teutonic 
culture in the Late Bronze Age is only a richer autono- 


mous development of that described in the last chapter. 
Foreign influences were certainly absorbed, but without 
causing any interruption in the tradition. The gjost 
radical was seen in burial rites. Cremation rapjfoly 
replaced inhumation. But even this change was by/tyo 
means catastrophic. During the first half of the L"Ste 
Bronze Age a barrow was still regularly erected over thSb 
remains. The ashes were frequently deposited in hollowed^ 
tree-trunks, big enough for a complete skeleton, as in 1 
the preceding period. Urn-burial on the contrary was 
at first exceptional. The rare ossuaries, however, are 
generally related to the biconical Lausitz type, showing 
the very strong influence from that culture that reached 
the Baltic. Another, but certainly native, innovation 
of the period was to construct round the grave the 
outline of a ship in stone, a practice that clearly antici- 
pates the burial rites of Viking times do 3 ). 

The Late Bronze Age of Scandinavia falls quite easily 
into three phases, corresponding to Montelius' Periods 
III, IV and V. The regular interchange of products with 
the south makes it clear that these are parallel to Rei- 
necke's Bronze D and Hallstatt A and B-C respectively. 
The last phase of the Teutonic Bronze Age is therefore 
contemporary with the full Iron Age in Southern 
Germany and the Danube basin. North-eastern Ger- 
many was becoming increasingly important during the 
later phases, but during Montelius' V Teutonic culture 
was also spreading westward to the Upper Rhine and 
the Dutch coasts. Eventually, however, the brilliant 
native development was arrested with the political and 
industrial expansion of the Kelts late in the Iron Age. 

A few characteristic Teutonic products may now be 
briefly mentioned. Socketed celts were regularly used 
throughout the age. At first they exhibited a ridge in 


relief down the middle of either face reminiscent of the 
projecting ends of the split knee-shaft between the 
flanges of the Middle Bronze Age celt, but by Period IV 
this motive had become purely conventional. At the 
same time winged celts, like those of the North Alpine 
area, were imported. The single-edged knives were 
scarcely altered at first, but in Period V, when Swiss and 
other southern types were imported, the native knife- 
handles sprouted out into opposed scrolls like the pom- 
mels of antennae swords. The horse's head handles of 
the razors were becoming increasingly conventionalized 
in Period III and gave way to swans' heads or pairs of 
spirals in Period IV. To that period, too, belong blades 
engraved with representations of the " solar barque" 
(Fig. 12, no. 1 1). 

The sword remained the warrior's principal weapon. 
In Period III the hilt might still consist of alternate 
bronze and amber disks, with a flat rhombic pommel; 
in IV the plated tang predominates; while in V antennae, 
Morigen, and true Hallstatt swords were imported or 
even copied locally. 

The contemporary ornaments all grew out of older 
native types, showing that no material change affected 
Teutonic dress. The most important pins were of course 
the two-piece fibulae in III with large flat spiral coils 
as catch-plates that were replaced in V by large shield- 
shaped plates (Fig. 14, no. 17). In the latter period there 
was a revival of simple pins, those with spiral, sunflower 
(like Fig. 14, no. 8) or saucer-shaped heads being most 
popular. Another queer pin, to which Early Iron Age 
deposits at Aegina and elsewhere in Greece offer 
parallels, has a dumb-bell head formed by joining two 
disks by a bar at right angles to the shaft. The handsome 
bronze collars were still worn by ladies during Mon- 


telius' III. In IV and V they were ousted by hooked 
torques, some genuinely twisted, others with the torsion 
imitated by cast ridges or engraved lines. In V the 
direction of the torsion often alternates, one strip being 
twisted to the right, the next to the left and so on 
(Fig. 17, no. 6). Some torques are even hinged. Tutuli 
assumed gigantic proportions. In Period III the central 
spike had already grown into a veritable pillar sur- 
mounted by a knob; by IV the disk may be 7 inches 
across and the pillar rise 4^ inches from the rim; while 
in V the ornament looks like a pedestalled goblet 6 
inches or more across, richly decorated on its surface 
and equipped with ingenious devices for attachment on 
the inside (Fig. 17, no. 5). 

Late Bronze Age pottery in the Teutonic province is 
extremely dull. The only attempt at decoration was to 
smear over the surface with the fingers or a stiff brush. 
As already remarked, a biconical ossuary was in use 
from Periods III to V. In the latter period ossuaries in 
the form of round huts, much as in Latium, were also 
being made, particularly in Eastern Germany. 

The dullness of the pottery is counterbalanced and 
explained by a wealth of bronze and gold vessels. Many 
of the bronze cups, buckets and urns were obviously 
imported from Italy, exhibiting the distinctive forms 
and decorative devices of the Villanovan bronze industry. 
But another group of vessels is no less of clearly native 
manufacture. Among these are the so-called hanging 
basins of bronze (they may really be grotesquely en- 
larged tutuli) of Periods IV V. They have rounded or 
conical bases, a narrow almost horizontal shoulder and 
a short vertical neck from which grow two low handles 
(Fig. 1 7, no. 4). The base and neck are richly engraved. 
No less remarkable is the great group of gold vessels, 


perhaps mainly ritual, assigned to Period IV. They are 
ornamented with zones of repouss concentric circles 
separated by ribbed ridges . In the case of round-bottomed 
vessels the circles may form a star radiating from the 
base, or such a star may be left reserved, the space 
between the points being filled with bosses or circles. 
The commonest form is a round-bottomed cup without 
handles. Two remarkable gold vases in the form of a 
very high-crowned hat, though found respectively in 
the Rhenish Palatinate and in Central France, seem 
in style to belong to the Teutonic group. 

The gold of these vessels is so thin that many believe 
them to have been used in ritual only, A number come 
from bogs where they might have been cast as offerings 
to some chthonic divinity. And we certainly possess 
ritual objects of the Late Bronze Age that must have 
been disposed of in that way, a usage indicated much 
later in the Norse sagas. The most famous and un- 
ambiguous is a bronze horse on wheels (2) connected 
with a gold-plated 1 disk also on wheels. The disk is 
6 inches in diameter. The whole object stands for the 
solar chariot; after use in some pagan ceremony it had 
been ritually slain (broken) and cast into the moss of 
Trundholm in Zealand. The same order of ideas doubt- 
less sanctified some little gold boats found in another 
Danish bog. The wheeled bowls of Sweden and Meck- 
lenburg, like that from Milave in Bohemia, may equally 
rank as ritual vessels. The boat symbol, combined often 
with swans' heads, recurs again engraved on razor- 

The art of the Late Bronze Age is on the whole 
inferior to that of the preceding epoch. The spiral 
survives on collars of Period III and grows into a variety 
1 Not of course by electrolysis, but by coating with gold foil. 


of scroll patterns in V (Fig. 1 7, nos. 4, 5). But the purely 
geometric principle was being already abandoned, the 
scrolls blossoming out into stylized animals' heads. To 
the same period belong undoubtedly some of the rock- 
carvings and ornamented tombs. Even the Kivik grave 
is assigned by some authorities to the Late rather than 
the Middle Bronze Age. 

In this connection we may refer to the so-called lurer^ 
musical instruments indirectly related to the trumpets 
depicted on the Kivik monument. Some thirty of these 
instruments have been found, generally in Scandinavia 
and North Germany, all belonging it seems to Periods 
III V. They consist of composite bronze tubes with 
a total length of as much as 5 feet, but wound in a curious 
S form. The sectional tubes of which they are composed 
have been cleverly united either by casting on or 
sweating on or by elaborate interlocking joints. The 
lurer each had a range of eight notes and are generally 
found in pairs, each tuned to a different pitch (Fig. 29). 


The Late Bronze Age on the Middle Danube is 
particularly complicated owing to extensive tribal move- 
ments. West of the river in Styria, Carinthia and 
Slovenia, iron came into use very early among Bronze 
Age groups of indeterminate antecedents, some showing 
relations with the Hungarian and North Alpine urn- 
field folks, others with tumulus-builders. In the moun- 
tains of Bosnia groups of barrows, covering inhumation 
interments accompanied by bracelets, pins and tutuli 
characteristic of the (northern) Tumulus culture together 
with a few fibulae of Adriatic form, constitute the nuclei 
of the well-known Iron Age cemeteries of Glasinac. 


East of the Danube, on the other hand, a belated Bronze 
Age continued till iron was introduced by bands of 
Scyths pushing westward across South Russia towards 
500 B.C., and by Kelts advancing in the opposite 
direction rather later. 

The Late Bronze Age throughout the region was 
ushered in by an invasion of people related to the 
Lausitz and Knoviz groups who settled especially round 
the copper-bearing regions of Northern Hungary and 
Slovakia*^). Their distinctive pottery, fluted like the later 
Lausitz vases, enables us to trace them farther south 
and indeed right across the Balkans into Macedonia; 
there they put an end to the Late Mycenaean colonies 
as indicated in Chapter i. Everywhere they introduced 
the socketed celt, swords with plated hilts, and spear- 
heads with lanceolate blades. In North Hungary the 
socketed celt almost completely displaced the practical 
shaft-hole axe that had previously been manufactured 
in the regions. In Transylvania, however, elaborate 
derivatives of the old types were still made. 

In Northern Hungary the fusion of the invaders 
with older inhabitants produced a very flourishing 
culture. It is illustrated by extensive urnfields, remains 
of regular industrial villages and rich traders' hoards 
and " foundries ". Among distinctive local types are 
slashing swords with rich spiral ornamentation engraved 
on the bronze hilts, and a variety of elaborate fibulae 
with big spiral catch-plates. An exceptional number of 
bronze buckets and cauldrons (Fig. 27, nos. 2, 3) and 
cups of gold or bronze have been discovered in this area, 
principally on its fringe on the plains of the Upper Tisza. 
That was evidently a dangerous tract on a great trade 
route leading from the head of the Adriatic diagonally 
across Hungary to the Upper Tisza and so to the gold, 



Fig. 27. Bronze vessels. 

(1) Gold cup from hoard of Unter-Glauheim, Bavaria. 

(2) Bronze cauldron with T handles, same hoard. J 

(3) Bronze bucket with birds* heads, same hoard. } 

(4) Bronze cauldron, West Scotland (after Anderson). 


copper and salt deposits of Transylvania. The metal 
vessels are all of forms current in Italy and decorated 
with repouss bosses in Villanovan style; the buckets 
even show the bird's head and circle motive in its 
classical North Italian form. Yet the exceptional number 
of the metal vessels and the use of presumably native 
gold in the manufacture of many suggest that some 
at least must be local products. Their distribution 
elsewhere, too, is not very different from that of the 
undoubtedly Hungarian swords just described. 

Between the ninth and seventh centuries, too, South 
Russia at last entered the orbit of the European economic 
and industrial system for a short time. Particularly in 
the Ukraine (105) a local bronze industry arose, inspired 
mainly by Hungarian and Central European models. 
But here the western types subsist side by side with 
developments of native "Copper Age" forms. Thus 
socketed celts are found together with peculiar flat celts. 
Out of this mixture some interesting varieties were 
evolved. We may mention a socketed celt with two 
ears, a type which spread across Eastern Russia to the 
head-waters of the Jenessei in Siberiado6>, and socketed 
spear-heads with big semicircular slits in the blades that 
must be related to contemporary British types. In the 
Ukraine they must be pre-Scythian (seventh to fifth 
centuries or earlier); farther north they belong to the 
local Iron Age. Yet side by side with these we have 
tanged spear-heads of Asiatic ancestry and others with 
folded socket as in Crete. To the same period belong the 
sickles with a hooked tang. 


We have already seen that Urn field cultures, more or 
less, connected with the North Alpine group were 


spreading in a westerly direction across Central France 
from Switzerland or the Upper Rhine and down the 
Rhine into Belgium and Holland. The latter current was 
further reinforced by one originating in northern 
Central Germany. Ultimately these movements im- 
pinged upon the coasts of Britain and represent the 
so-called invasion with which our Late Bronze Age may 
be said to open (107). Actually this " invasion" was a 
complex process effected by the infiltration of discrete 
bands of invaders (76) in this probably resembling the 
earlier phases of the "Anglo-Saxon Conquest ", No 
doubt the invaders started from various centres and 
landed at diverse points along our coasts. Some certainly 
followed the precedent of the Beaker folk and crossed 
the North Sea from the Low Countries. Others may 
have come across France to the Channel ports, and a 
group that appears in Cornwall and Devon had Armori- 
can affinities. The cumulative result was that "Lowland 
England " was dominated by the invaders, while in the 
highland country to the north and west the intrusive 
culture was absorbed in strict conformity with the 
principle recently enunciated by Fox (71). In the south 
therefore exotic ceramic types were extensively manu- 
factured, while to the north the Late Bronze Age pottery 
is directly descended from Middle Bronze Age wares. 
Nevertheless the changes in economic arrangements and 
burial rites, presumably introduced by the invaders, 
affected every part of the island, and their new tools and 
weapons were distributed evenly throughout the land. 
Conversely, even in Southern England the native tradi- 
tion in pottery and bronze work was never entirely 

Hence in general the invasions produced no radical 
or abrupt change in economy and industry. Probably 



the communities, in the lowlands especially, were larger, 
more agricultural and more settled than before. In 
Southern England a number of roughly rectangular 
earthworks defended by ditch and bankdog) can safely 
be assigned to this period and give evidence of more or 
less permanent settlement. In this area the people lived 
in pit-dwellings excavated in the chalk. Air photographs, 
supplemented by excavation, have also demonstrated 
that some of the old cultivations known as ' ' Keltic fields ' ' 
likewise date from the Late Bronze AgedoS). Broad 
rectangular fields, varying in size from 100 sq. feet to 
400 by 1 50 sq. feet, were cultivated with the aid of a 
foot-plough (such as was recently used in the Hebrides) 
or a primitive plough drawn by two oxen that did not 
undercut the sods, on the slopes of the open downs and 
uplands. Between each field narrow strips were left 
uncultivated (80). Owing to the slope of the land, soil 
was washed down from the upper edge of the field and 
gradually accumulated in a little straight bank against 
the uncultivated strip at its bottom. The low ridge thus 
formed is known as a (positive) lynchet, and it is a study 
of the relation of such lynchets to earthworks of the 
Late Bronze Age that enables us to date the cultivations. 
The formation of a lynchet clearly implies a considerable 
period of cultivation, confirming the impression of 
sedentary life produced by the settlements. In upland 
Britain, moreover, a number of very substantial round 
huts of stone, on Dartmoor and in Anglesey for instance, 
certainly go back at least to the Late Bronze Age, 
carrying on an early native architectural tradition. Even 
villages with elaborate stone defences, like Grimspound 
on Dartmoor, may be Late Bronze Age (78). Both these 
solid huts and the fine stone defences are incom- 
patible with a semi-nomadic life, though not implying 


necessarily that extreme fixity attained by our peasantry 
since the Saxon conquest. 

More permanent occupation is likewise indicated by 
the adoption of burial in urnfields in place of, or besides, 
in small groups of barrows. Urnfields comparable to 
those of the Lausitz folk or the Italici are in fact 
distinctive of the Late Bronze Age not only in Southern 
England but even in the lowlands of Scotland as far 
north as Aberdeen. Very often, however, an old barrow 
was used for secondary interments in the Late Bronze 
Age, a practice also noticed in Holland and Scandinavia. 

A change in the economic organization of Great 
Britain is denoted by the " founders' hoards " that appear 
for the first time in this period(ss). They imply a new 
class of travelling smiths, agents or pupils of the great 
founders of Bologna. Exotic types whose previous 
history is to be sought in Central Europe, such as 
winged and socketed celts, leaf-shaped swords with 
plated hilts, and bugle-shaped objects from harness (107), 
are specially common in these hoards and again illustrate 
foreign traditions as well as actual imports. Trade 
relations with the lands beyond the Channel and the 
North Sea had naturally been cemented by the move- 
ments of peoples from those quarters. But the old traffic 
along the sea routes to Spain and the Western Mediter- 
ranean was revived at the same time, and Britain thus 
participated in the intensified maritime trade of the 
Mediterranean basin suggested at the beginning of the 
chapter, A spear-head of British type (almost identical 
with Fig. 10, no. 6) was included in a " hoard" dredged 
up from the harbour of Huelva in Southern Spain (92), 
and socketed sickles occur even in Sardinia. At the 
same time, as in the later Stone Age, the maritime 
trade route was continued round the west coasts of 



Scotland presumably to Scandinavia. It is marked by 
a series of late hoards on Islay, Skye, the Hebrides 
and Orkney(6o>. By this route presumably Scandinavian 
types, such as the sunflower pin, reached Ireland and 

The British bronze industry of this period is repre- 
sented only by hoards and isolated objects. Except for 
razors and a few ornaments, no metal objects are found 
in the graves. For axe-heads the later palstaves with no 
indication of flanges below the stop-ridge remained in 
use side by side with socketed celts and rare winged 
celts with high-placed wings and an ear. Numerous 
wood-workers' tools testify to the revival of carpentry, 
of whose products unhappily no remains survive. To 
this class belong the socketed gouges, tanged chisels 
and curved knives (Fig. n, no. 10). Socketed chisels 
and socketed hammers probably belong rather to the 
equipment of the metal-worker. Original products of 
the native industry are the socketed sickles and socketed 
double-edged knives (Fig. n, no. 9). This is also the 
great age of the bifid razors (Fig. 12, no. 10). Such are 
found even in graves and settlements. 

The slashing sword now became the warrior's princi- 
pal weapon. Most have flanged tangs originally plated 
with horn or wood, straight shoulders and a blunted 
strip (ricassd) ending in a nick at the base of each edge. 
A few are of true Hallstatt pattern, widened out for the 
pommel like Fig. 8, no. 12. Bronze-hiked swords are 
rare. Apart from an antennae sword found at Lincoln (a) 
these bear little resemblance to Central European models, 
but find rather distant parallels in Sweden. The wooden 
sheaths that held these swords normally terminated 
in long narrow chapes (Fig. 9, no. 2). Some, however, 
were fitted with true winged chapes of Hallstatt form 



Fig. 28. Bronze shield, Scotland, Late Bronze Age. After Anderson. 


(Fig, 9, no. 3). The spear, too, retained its importance. 
The commonest type has a leaf-shaped head, but blades 
with lunate openings on either side of the midrib (Fig. 
10, no. 6) are native British products derived from older 
local models. 

The warrior was now defended, as in Central Europe, 
with a round buckler of bronze. The commonest native 
type exhibits a hollow central boss or umbo encircled by 
concentric ridges alternating with rings of small bosses. 
A flat strip of metal, doubled over at the edges, was 
riveted across the umbo to form a handle (Fig. 28). 

Though no wheeled vehicles have come down to us, 
such were certainly in use. Indeed one domestic hoard, 
found in the cave of Heathery Burn (Durham) (2), 
included six bronze cylinders with an internal diameter 
of 4 inches which are supposed to be nave collars. The 
horses which drew the vehicle were controlled by bits 
terminating in antler cheek-pieces just like Central 
European specimens. A remarkable gold peytrel (collar 
or brunt) found at Mold (Flintshire) (2), if really Bronze 
Age at all and its decoration is of Bronze Age style 
shows how richly steeds might be caparisoned. The 
so-called bugle-shaped objects tubes with a solid loop 
on one side and a slit on the other (Fig. 13, no. 5) are 
probably pieces of harness. 

No safety-pins were included among the toilet articles 
of a Late Bronze Age Briton. Even pins were still rare, 
except for the sunflower type (Fig. 14, no. 8). On the 
other hand, bronze buttons with a loop at the back now 
supplement the buttons of jet or amber as dress-fasteners. 
From Ireland come a number of small penannular 
objects of gold terminating in great cup-like disks. Some 
authorities think that they too were dress-fasteners (a) . A 
thread would have replaced the movable pin of the 


contemporary Teutonic fibulae to which the Irish orna- 
ments in other respects bear a very striking resemblance 
(Fig. 1 7, no. 8). Other gold objects of similar forms but 
with a larger hoop might be worn as bracelets (Fig. 15, 
no, 2). Sir John Evans (s) pointed out the extraordinary 
resemblance these bear to the so-called manillas the 
ring money^ still current in West Africa in his day. If 
may then He that these Irish gold objects were really 
currency. The use of identically shaped " money " in 
West Africa would be a survival from prehistoric times 
commemorating our Bronze Age trade along the Atlantic 

Gold torques also continued in use as did probably the 
segmented, quoit-shaped and star-shaped beads of 
faience, and others of amber and jet. In late Scottish 
hoards (6o> we find beads of blue glass with yellow or 
white inlays such as would be more at home in the 
Second Iron Age or La T&ne period. 

Buckets and cauldrons of hammered bronze are 
included in several hoards, and, judging by the Heathery 
Burn cave (2), were in regular use for domestic purposes 
by well-to-do families. The buckets are of Italian pattern 
and may well be imported thence. Their models in any 
case are not older than Benacci II times. The bottom on 
some British specimens has been strengthened externally 
by the attachment of a cruciform framework. The 
cauldrons, on the other hand, are purely British though 
late in date and probably inspired in the last resort by 
Italian models. The majority come from Scotland and 
Ireland, and some are actually associated with iron 
weapons. They are globular in shape and consist of 
several bronze plates riveted together and hammered 
over a hoop that gave stability to the mouth. The 
elaborate attachments for the loose ring handles have 


been cast on (Fig. 27, no. 4). The great hoard of bronzes 
from Dowris in County Meath and that from Dudding- 
ston Loch, Edinburgh, were probably contained in such 

The Dowris hoard contained also trumpets of types 
found elsewhere in Great Britain and Ireland. All are 
much shorter than the Teutonic lurer and lack their 
distinctive twists. The Dowris types were cast in one 
piece; some have the mouthpiece at the end, others at 
the side. A third variety, formed of sheet metal bent 
over and riveted to form a tube, may date from the Iron 
Age. In the Irish trumpets, as in the Teutonic lurer, 
the derivation from an original animal's-horn instrument 
is patent (Fig. 31). 

The best known pottery of the Late Bronze Age is 
sepulchral and consists of cinerary urns. These naturally 
fall into two main classes those derived from old 
native forms and those inspired by exotic traditions. 

The degeneration of the overhanging-rim urn pro- 
duced, as we saw in Chapter vi, the cordoned or hooped 
type (Fig. 24, no. 3). In it one ridge of pinched-up 
clay represents the lower edge of the rim and another 
below it the old line of the shoulder. This type is 
commonest north of the Thames, in Wales and in Ire- 
land. Dr Clay (no) believes that in the south of England a 
similar process led to the formation of what Abercromby 
calls the Deverel group 2. The urn of this group is 
cylindrical or bucket-shaped and has a single moulding 
encircling the body a couple of inches below the lip (Fig. 
24, no. 4). This moulding can be treated as a survival 
of the original overhanging rim. It is, however, 
generally decorated with finger-tip impressions, a 
technique which at once relates it to certain foreign 
types of urn with which the Deverel group 2 is often 

Fig-. 29. Tourer - 


associated. A third native type of urn is that termed by 
Abercromby "Encrusted". It develops out of the 
enlarged food vessel in Northern England and South- 
ern Scotland and spreads thence to Wales and Ireland d) . 
These urns were decorated by applying round pellets or 
strips of clay to the surface while the vessel was drying 
and arranging them to form simple patterns chevrons, 
squares, concentric arcs or interlaced mouldings. The 
applied clay was carefully joined up to the body by 
rubbing with a wet finger, but none the less the strips 
easily fall off. The strips and even the spaces between 
them are often incised with a bone point, but never 
exhibit finger-tip impressions (Fig. 24, no. 5). 

Over against these native types, which except for the 
bucket urns all belong to highland Britain, stands the 
foreign pottery of invaders as represented in Southern 
England including Cornwall. The most striking are 
the globular urns constituting Abercromby's Deverel 
group I. The body is globular with four little handles 
on the line of greatest swell. There is no clearly marked 
neck, but where it should be comes the decoration, 
consisting generally of horizontal flutings, simple hori- 
zontal incisions, or bands of wavy lines made with a 
sort of comb (Fig. 24, no. 8). Abercromby rightly noted 
the similarity of the fluted decoration to that on the 
urnfield pottery of Central Europe and France. 

Abercromby *s Type 3, groups 2 and 3, consist of tall 
bucket-shaped or cyclindrical urns decorated with hori- 
zontal, vertical or zig-zag mouldings. The mouldings 
are normally embellished with finger-tip impressions 
and, in group 2, often form loops suggestive of handles 
(Fig. 24, no. 6). The rim is generally slightly everted 
in a manner reminiscent of metal vessels. Plastic finger- 
tip mouldings had been used decoratively along the 


northern shores of the Mediterranean and in Central 
Europe from Neolithic times. From Italy to Holland 
they are quite common in the urnfield period. This 
feature therefore helps to attach the group in question 
to continental cultures without giving us any clue as to 
the exact home of its makers. 

The third intrusive ceramic type is commonest in 
Cornwall. It is a slightly biconical urn, the upper cone 
being much shorter than the lower. Two or four strap 
handles sit on the keel. The upper part and shoulder is 
decorated with vertical or horizontal zig-zags, some- 
times formed by the impression of a cord (Fig. 24, no. 7). 
The patterns are thus very similar to those of the Middle 
Bronze Age overhanging rim urns. But the forms of our 
group are undoubtedly strongly reminiscent of the Ar- 
morican urns of an earlier date described in Chapter v. 

One peculiar feature is common to all the three 
classes of jntrusive pottery. On the base of the urn 
there is often a cross or star in relief on the inside. It 
has been suggested that these relief patterns were really 
structural and served to strengthen the base. They 
would actually be useful if the pot was used for boiling 
water by dropping in hot stones, and several of the 
decorated pots came from settlements. Another possi- 
bility is that the ridges imitate the stays used to strengthen 
metal buckets, but these were generally affixed to the 
outside. Dr Clay regards the crosses and stars as 
religious symbols. Indeed in some Hungarian urn- 
fields a swastika has been observed in relief inside urns. 

A word must be said in conclusion as to the duration 
of the Late Bronze Age in the British Isles. Quite 
obviously it everywhere overlaps the Central European 
Hallstatt period very considerably; the Hallstatt types 
from our hoards suffice to prove that. Moreover, until 


recently no connected settlements or cemeteries other 
than those of the Late Bronze Age were known that 
could be assigned to the First Iron Age. It was only in 
the Second or La T&ne period that new groups could 
be identified. In the last few years it has been proved 
that people with a very late Hallstatt culture, including 
distinctive pottery, did settle on our shores notably at 
Park Browdia) near Cissbury in Sussex, at All Cannings 
Cross (ii i) near Devizes in Wiltshire and at Scarborough. 
But though these new-comers did use pottery of Hall- 
statt character, their safety-pins were already of La T&ne 
type, i.e., though they brought a culture of Hallstatt 
ancestry, they and it only arrived in La T&ne times so 
that their coming need not be anterior to 450 B.C. 
Moreover, the intrusive wares at All Cannings and 
elsewhere are associated with Bronze Age urn types (no) 
so that even in Southern England the survival of our 
Bronze Age culture throughout the whole of the Hall- 
statt period of Central Europe seems indisputable. In 
more inaccessible regions it lasted longer still. That is 
implied in the late associations of the Irish and Scottish 
cauldrons. The glass beads from the hoard of bronzes 
on Lewis and from a cordoned urn at Edderton, Ross- 
shire, both point to a survival well into the Second Iron 
Age. And in one urn of Bronze Age fabric from 
Cornwall Roman coins of the fourth century A.D. have 
been recorded 1 On the whole, then, the Bronze Age in 
Southern England must have lasted till about 400 B.C. 
and elsewhere till at least 200 B.C., probably to the 
beginning of our era in Scotland, 

The beginning of the Late Bronze Age is less easily 
determined. The intrusive types with which it opens 
need none of them be later than Reinecke's Hallstatt A. 
But if they reached here not by trade but as the results 


of ethnic movement, they might have been already out 
of date on the Danube before they reached the Thames, 
just as our Hallstatt pottery would have been already 
superseded by La T6ne wares on the Rhine before it was 
used at All Cannings. On the contrary, the Sicilian 
safety-pins associated with the British spear-head at 
Huelva imply that such Late Bronze Age types were 
current here before 900 B.C. So perhaps a date of about 
1000 for the first invasions would not be much too high. 

Fig. 30. Bronze shield, Bohemia. 


IN the last three chapters we have given a rather cur- 
sory account of the culture of the principal com- 
munities living north of the Alps between 2000 and 
500 B.C. The description of our ancestors' life in Britain 
towards the latter date is rather an anti-climax after the 
brilliant civilizations of Sumer, Egypt and Crete with 
which we started. It is salutary, if depressing, to com- 
pare the hovels, dug in the chalk of the Wiltshire downs 
or built of rubble on Dartmoor, with the great cities of 
Kish and Harappa that are already two thousand five 
hundred years older. A single tomb on the acropolis of 
Mycenae contained more gold than has been collected 
from thousands of British barrows ranging over fifteen 
hundred years. And the Mycenaean tombs were 
poverty-stricken in comparison with the Royal Graves 
of Ur that are fifteen hundred years earlier. A Middle 
Minoan II rapier is a foot longer than the finest bronze 
blade forged north of the Alps. And yet the Bronze Age 
barbarians had no lack of armourers. 

In fact, the northerners were quick to learn and 
adapt to their peculiar needs those discoveries of the 
Ancient East that appealed to barbarian requirements. 
But the techniques and models were in every case 
supplied by Sumerians, Egyptians, or Minoans. In our 
period it is not possible to point to a single vital contri- 
bution to material culture originating in Europe outside 
the Aegean area. 

And, if it be argued that this poverty in material 
culture was counterbalanced by an inherent spiritual 
superiority, we can point to the cannibal feasts of the 
Knovfz peoples and the human sacrifices depicted on 

RACES 239 

the Kivik tombstone. Certainly Bronze Age burials 
suggest a monogamous family and a high status for 
women. But, after all, few Orientals could actually 
afford a harem, and the queens of Egypt were buried 
with sufficient pomp. It would be just silly to say that 
Scandinavian decorative art was superior to Babylonian 
or Minoan. And no one in their senses will compare the 
Swedish rock-carvings with even a poor Egyptian bas- 
relief or the Trondholm horse with a Sumerian bull of 
3000 B.C. 

No, it is not with their civilized contemporaries in 
the Eastern Mediterranean that our Bronze Age ances- 
tors must be compared but with the more backward 
communities of Africa and Malaysia to-day. 

Nevertheless the roots of modern European civiliza- 
tion were struck down deep into this unpromising soil. 
The general economic and social structure that may be 
inferred from the Late Bronze Age remains persisted 
with surprisingly superficial modifications throughout 
the Roman Period in many parts of the Empire. The 
native houses and fields of Roman Britain did not differ 
essentially from those of the latest Bronze Age. And 
after all the direct ancestors of the Romans themselves 
prior to the rule of the Etruscan kings had been just an 
Urnfield folk comparable to the inhabitants of the Lausitz 
and the Alpine slopes. Even in the British Isles many 
elements of pure Bronze Age culture survived un- 
changed by subsequent migrations and invasions till 
late in last century. For example, travellers describe 
beehive huts of stone and a foot-plough, exactly like 
those known directly or inferred in Bronze Age Britain, 
as still current in the Hebrides. Despite the upheavals 
of the Early Iron Age and the Migration Period one is 
inclined to believe in a considerable continuity both in 

240 RACES 

blood and tradition between the Bronze Age and the 
modern populations. 

Furthermore, the earliest historical data imply that 
the principal European nations of antiquity must already 
have existed, either as distinct peoples or at least as 
groups in course of formation, before the close of our 
period. It should, therefore, theoretically, be possible 
to attach to our main Bronze Age groups ethnic labels, 
derived from the classical authors. Such an attempt is, 
however, rendered hazardous in practice both by the 
extensive and complicated popular movements that took 
place during the Early Iron Age and also by the 
ambiguous use of ethnic terms by the Greeks and 
Romans. It is well to close this book with some account 
of recent speculations in this direction, but the results 
up to date are frankly disappointing. 

The " ethnic " groups considered in this search almost 
inevitably become confused with the linguistic groups 
distinguished by comparative philologists. Language 
is certainly a cultural, rather than a racial, trait and one of 
those unifying factors that give to a single people that 
unity which might find outward expression in a " cul- 
ture " (as defined on p. 42). The equation of language 
and culture can, however, only possess a restricted 
validity. In so far as it is applicable, it gives us a means 
of supplementing the somewhat vague testimony of 
ancient writers; for place-names often define very 
accurately the former distribution of a group or people. 
A comparison of the distribution of place-names of a 
given type with that of archaeological remains has 
yielded good fruit already. This line of research will, I 
believe, if the complicated problems of the Iron Age are 
concomitantly unravelled, lead to the ultimate solution 
of our questions. 

RACES 24! 

It is generally believed that, with the exception of the 
Mediterranean basin and some corners in the extreme 
North and West, Europe was occupied by peoples of 
Indo-European (or Aryan) speech (the great linguistic 
family to which all modern European languages, except 
Basque, Magyar, Turkish and Finnish, and also Arme- 
nian, Persian and Hindu belong) by the beginning of 
the Bronze Age. In the Mediterranean basin place- 
names indicate a much longer survival of a predominantly 
pre-Aryan population. In the Aegean these would be 
Leleges and Carians of Anatolian affinities, in Sicily and 
South Italy, Sicels, and in Spain Iberian tribes whose 
language survives perhaps as Basque. Beyond the 
borders of the European economic system to the north- 
east dwelt perhaps already Lapps and Finns, while it is 
still open to dispute whether some early peoples in the 
British Isles, such as the mysterious Picts, belonged to 
our linguistic ancestry at all. For the rest, Aryan 
languages must have been in general use. It should 
therefore be possible to connect the several Bronze Age 
cultures with branches of the Indo-European linguistic 
family the Teutons, Kelts, Italic!, Hellenes, Illyrians, 
Thraco-Phrygians, and Slavs of the philologist. 

In the case of the Teutons 1 alone is there any 
considerable approach to unanimity. The bronze culture 
of Scandinavia and North Germany is continuous with 
the demonstrably Teutonic culture of the Roman period. 
We have even seen that Teutonic cult practices can be 
traced far back in the local Bronze Age. Though 

1 Teutonic is the English term used to denote the whole group of 
allied languages comprising Anglo-Saxon, Dutch, German, the Scan- 
dinavian tongues and ancient Gothic. In Germany the term Germanic 
is used as by Tacitus. Gothonic has recently been suggested as an 
alternative by a Dane, Schtltte (Our Forefathers, Cambridge, 1929). 

242 RACES 

Scandinavia and North Germany were subjected to 
strong "influence" from the Lausitz area in the Late 
Bronze Age and even stronger from the Kelts in the 
Iron Age, there are no grounds for connecting these 
foreign influences with a racial or even linguistic change. 
The only serious problem is the attribution of certain 
cultures in Eastern Germany which begin in the closing 
years of the Bronze Age. Kossinna has dubbed them 
" East Germanic ' ', but the researches of one of his pupils, 
Petersen, have shown that they disappear from the area 
in question altogether before the historical Goths are 
traceable there. An identification with the Bastarnae 
has been suggested, but rigorous proof is still lacking. 

On the origin of the Kelts opinions seem at first 
hopelessly divided. The issue is complicated by un- 
certainty as to the antiquity and significance to be 
attributed to the linguistic division into Brythonic and 
Goidelic Kelts. The division rests principally on the 
treatment of the Indo-European guttural qu which is 
represented as a labial, p, in Brythonic (e.g. Welsh pump 
for Latin quinque) while it is preserved as a guttural, c, 
in Goidelic (Gaelic coic). Brythonic survives to-day in 
Welsh and Cornish and in shepherds' "counts" else- 
where in England, even in Lincolnshire. In Roman 
times it was spoken by the Britons and most Gauls. Erse 
and Scots Gaelic, introduced presumably by the Scotti 
who crossed over from Ireland in post-Roman times, 
alone illustrate the Goidelic speech, although there are 
traces of the same branch in the Seine valley (32), 

It is quite certain that the La T&ne culture of the 
Second Iron Age (from about 450 B.C.) was created by 
Kelts and carried by them to Britain and Ireland and 
eastward far across Central Europe. It is less certain 
among which group of the Hallstatt period the La Tfcne 

RACES 243 

culture arose and whether there were already Kelts 
outside the cradle possessing a different culture. On 
the second question at least Great Britain and Ireland 
might be expected to afford conclusive evidence. Lord 
Abercromby boldly suggested that the round-headed 
Beaker-folk spoke proto-Keltic, still preserving the q 
sound, as in Goidelic. That would agree very well with 
the views of Professor Kossinna who ascribes the Tumu- 
lus culture of South-west Germany, that is clearly 
related to that of our round barrows, to Kelts. Un- 
fortunately as far as Britain is concerned there is no 
trace of Q-Keltic speech, and Ireland was not reached 
by the Beaker-folk. At the same time the recognition of 
a quite extensive infiltration in Late Bronze Age times 
has greatly complicated the position. If two waves of 
Kelts are required in Britain, the Urnfield folk have as 
good a claim to be the first as their round-barrow- 
building precursors. Correspondingly other Germans 
like Dr Rademacher of Cologne have modified Kos- 
sinna's theory by making an admixture of Urnfield folk 
with the tumulus-builders a condition for their becoming 
Kelts proper. 

Still more recent researches have resulted in connect- 
ing the oldest strata of Keltic place-names in North Spain 
with a group of Urnfield folk, culturally descended from 
the Late Bronze Age lake-dwellers of Switzerland and 
Savoy. It is thus possible to assert with some confidence 
that these latter were already Keltic. It is not thereby 
determined whether they were the sole Kelts nor what 
element in their complex ancestry Urnfield folk from 
the East, authors of Rhone culture and perhaps tumulus- 
builders made their speech Keltic. The association of 
Urnfield folk in Britain with the system of agriculture 
practised there throughout the Keltic period on the one 

244 RACES 

hand and the linguistic affinity between Kelts and 
Italici, who were also Urnfield folk, on the other, would 
encourage an identification of Kelts and North Alpine 
Urnfield people. The chief obstacle to such an identifi- 
cation is the desire to connect the North Alpine culture 
with Illyrians which is mentioned below. 

The position of the Italici is less difficult. There are 
very strong grounds for connecting the terramaricoli 
with the Latini at least, and so with the Romans. 
Professor Pigorini and his disciples go further, and 
regard the terramaricoli as ancestors also of the Umbrians 
and Oscans, peoples who like Brythonic Kelts changed 
Q to P. There is indeed an almost overwhelming case 
for regarding the Villanovans as Umbrians. And 
Professors Pigorini and Collini have argued strongly 
for a derivation of the Villanovans from the terramaricoli. 
Randall-Maclver would, on the other hand, invoke a 
second invasion from an undefined district in Central 
Europe to explain the Villanovans a, to me, gratuitous 
assumption. But quite apart from this, links between 
the Oscans and either the Villanovans or terramaricoli 
are not as yet obvious. In particular the Oscans seem 
to have practised inhumation. Von Duhn therefore has 
recently propounded a theory of an invasion by "in- 
huming Italici" who would have occupied both Umbria 
and the Oscan territory a theory at the moment very 
difficult of acceptance. Personally I regard Pigorini's 
identification of the terramaricoli with the ancestors of 
Latins, Umbrians and Oscans alike as the most economi- 
cal and plausible theory. 

The ancient writers often mention the Illyrians as a 
great nation occupying the West Balkan highlands and 
parts of the Danube valley. The modern Albanians are 
the sole survivors of this linguistic stock. The greater 

RACES 245 

part of the Illyrian territory was occupied until the 
Roman conquest by tumulus-builders directly descended 
from the Late Bronze Age group who had settled at 
Glasinac in Bosnia. A group of tumuli in Southern 
Italy can equally be identified safely with the Illyrian 
lapyges. The tumulus-builders practised inhumation 
even in the First Iron Age when elsewhere cremation 
predominated. On the other hand, at the head of the 
Adriatic the Veneti, who are supposed to be of Illyrian 
speech, were Urnfield folk. This seems the sole archaeo- 
logical argument in favour of attributing to the Illyrians 
the Lausitz and even the North Alpine Urnfield culture 
a theory that holds indisputed sway in Germany 
to-day. From the point of view of toponymy the 
doctrine is supported especially by the distribution of 
names containing the allegedly Illyrian word for salt 
*hal) in places where the Lausitz culture or its influence 
is discernible Hallstatt, Hallein, Reichenhall, Halle, 
Halicz (in Galicia). 

Against this it may reasonably be argued that we have 
in the regions in question during Late Hallstatt times 
intrusive inhumation graves whose furniture suggests 
derivation from the south-eastern slopes of the Alps. 
These inhumationists may have been responsible for 
the introduction of the Illyrian names in question. 

The Thracians have a much stronger claim to the 
Lausitz culture. Though their centres were in the East 
Balkans and Hungary, a Thracian or Dacian tribe was 
to be found on the Lower Vistula as late as A.D. 1 80 and 
left perfectly good Dacian place-names in Poland and 
Silesia. To them at any rate must be ascribed the 
Pannonian urnfields of the latest Bronze Age in Hun- 
gary and Transylvania to which the Lausitz cemeteries 
are more or less allied. The Late Bronze Age culture of 

246 RACES 

this Tisza district, subsequently overlaid by elements 
contributed by Scythians and Kelts, seems to be more 
or less continuous with the historical civilization of the 
Thracians of Dacia. It was also, earlier at least, 
connected with the Bronze Age culture of Macedonia 
and intrusive, perhaps Phrygian, elements in Asia Minor 
(Troy VII and perhaps earlier) (37). Its attribution 
to Thracians seems then certain. 

As for the Lausitz culture, a third claimant is to be 
found among the Slavs, The case for a Slavonic attri- 
bution of the Lausitz urnfields has been strongly urged 
recently by several Polish scholars following in the steps 
of the Czech archaeologist, Pic. The continuity has not, 
however, yet been entirely demonstrated, and one 
suspects that political considerations are influencing 
their championship of this theory as they are the strenuous 
opposition of all German investigators. Still, otherwise 
no Slavonic nuclei have been offered us during the 
Bronze Age. 

As for the Hellenes, if they were not already south 
of the Balkans in pre-Mycenaean times, we cannot 
identify them to the north. Two northern inroads may 
indeed have reached Macedonia. The one, marked by 
fluted ware, started in Hungary but was hardly on a 
scale to account for the Hellenization of Greece, besides 
being rather belated for that. The other, bringing inhuma- 
tion graves, spectacle brooches, and antennae swords 
ought on the above view to be connected with Illyrians. 

The labelling of Bronze Age groups is accordingly in 
a very tentative and precarious stage. In most cases a 
closer analysis of the cultures of the Iron Age is in- 
dispensable. We believe that with accurate distribution 
maps of leading fossils at several periods the question 
might be solved with almost scientific precision. But 

RACES 247 

in two key areas, France and Hungary, we are likely to 
have to wait long before such maps are available. In 
the meanwhile Britain offers a most promising field, and 
from a co-operation between archaeology and toponymy 
and folk-lore most fruitful results are to be expected. 

Fig. 31. Late Bronze Age 
trumpet from Scotland 
(after Anderson). J 



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Association, xxvi-xxvn, xxix, xxx. 

(79) FAIRBAIRN. "Further Discoveries. . .in Hut-circles. , .in Ayr- 

shire." PS4S.L1V. 

(80) CURWEN, C. "Prehistoric Agriculture in Britain/' Antiquity, i. 


(81) SOPHUS MULLER. Oldtidens Kunst i Danmark, Copenhagen, 


(82) SOPHUS MULLER. Ordning af Danemarkes Oldsager. Copen- 

hagen, 1898. 

(83) MONTELIUS. Minnenfrdn var ForntiJ. Stockholm, 1917. 

(84) SPLIETH. InventarderBronzealterfunde aus Schleswig-Holstein. 

Kiel, 1900. 


(85) NAUE. Die Bronzezeit in Qberbayern. Munich, 1894. 

(86) SCHAEFFER. Les tertres funfr aires dans la Forlt de Haguenau. 

Haguenau, 1926. 

(87) MUNRO, ROBERT. Palaeolithic Man and Terramara Settlements 

in Europe. Edinburgh, 1912. 


(88) NEWALL. "Shale Cups of the Early Bronze Age/' WAM. 


(89) Fox. Arch. Camb. 1928, p. 145. 

Italy and Sardinia: 

(90) Articles by TARAMELLI and BOSCH-GIMPERA in // Convegno 

Archeologico in Sardegna, Reggio nell' Emilia, 1929. 

(91) RANDALL-MAC!VER. Fillanovans and Early Etruscans. Oxford, 


(92) Huelva. Real.s.v. 

(93) Hoards. B.P. XLVII. 

(94) Razor. MA. ix, p. 135. 

(95) Nuraghi. TARAMELLI. In M.A. xix. 

(96) Hoards. In M.A. xxvu. 

(97) Temple. In M.A. xxv. 


Alpine Urnfields: 

(98) WANNER. "Prehistoric Fortifications in Bavaria." Antiquity, 

n, 5. 

(99) STAMPFUSS. "Beitrage zur Nordgruppe der Urnenfelder- 

kultur." Mannus Erganzungsband> v, Leipzig. 

(100) ISCHER. Die Pfahlbauten des Bielersees. Biel, 1928. 

(101) CHANTRE. fitudes paltoethnologiques dans le bassin du RhSne, 

Age du bronze. Lyons, 1875. 

(102) Pouges les-Eaux. Mat. 1879, p. 386. 

Scandinavia and North Germany: 

(103) NORDEN. "Neue Ergebnisse der schwedischen Felsbildfor- 

schung," IPEK. 1927. 

(104) SCHMIDT, H. "Die Luren von Daberkow." PZ. vn. 

South Russia: 

(105) TALLGREN. La Pontide prtscythique (Eurasia Septentrionalis 

Antiqua> n). Helsingfors, 1926. 

Siberia : 

(106) MERHARDT, VON. Die Bronzezeit am Jenessei. Vienna, 1926. 
Great Britain : 

(107) CRAWFORD. "A Bronze Age Invasion." Ant. J. i. 

(108) CRAWFORD AND KEILLER. Wessex from the Air. Oxford, 1927. 

(109) PITT-RIVERS. Excavations at Cranboume Chase. Vol. in. 
(no) CLAY, R. C. C. "The Woodminton Group of Barrows." 

(in) CUNNINGTON. All Cannings Cross. Devizes, 1923. 

(112) Fox. "An Encrusted Urn of the Bronze Age from Wales." 

Ant. J. vn. 

(113) WOLSELEY. "Prehistoric. . .settlements on Park Brow." Arc A. 



Abercromby, John, 156, 232, 234, 


Adlerberg, 153 
adze, 61, 67, 69, 197 
Aegean, see Cycladic, Helladic, 

Minoan, Mycenae 
agriculture, methods of, 159, 226 
air photography, 226 
All Cannings Cross, 236 
alloys, 6, 29 
amber, deposits, 47 

trade, 44, 46, 56, 144, 168, 172, 

213;^* also trade routes 
use of, 127, 132, 134, 139, 141, 

146, 152, 167, 170, 176, 179, 

l88, 200, 204, 208, 212, 214, 


amulets, 132 

animal motive power, 49, 102 

Anklets, 176; see also bracelets; 

ansa lunata, 180 

Arbor Low, 163 

art, 14, 17, 20, 144, 149, 183, 186, 
205, 212, 214, 216, 221 ; see also 
carving; spiral patterns; figur- 
ines, etc. 

associated finds, definition of, 42 

Aunjetitz culture, 139 if, 206 

Avebury, 163 

axes, 61, 67, 71, 181, 197, 222; 
see also axe-adzes; battle-axes; 
double-axes; celts 

axe-adzes, 74, 199 

Badarian culture, 13, 24, 132 
barrows, 13, 144, 151, 153 f., 161 f., 
169, 173. 187, 209, 213, 217, 
221,227, 243,245 
battle-axes, metal, 41, 43, 75, 141, 

169, 181 

stone, 155, 158, 187 
beads, segmented, 134, 149, 190, 231 
spacers, 134, 141 
stone, 14, 132 
See also amber; faience; glass; jet 

Beaker folk, 153 ff., 225, 243 
beehive tombs, huts, see corbelled 

Bell-beakers, 120, 139, 145, 146, 149, 

i53> i5 8 *98 
bellows, see blast 
berm, 161 
bits (bridle), 50, 104, 179, 183, 205, 

208, 214, 229 
blast, 28, 30 

Bohemian palstave, see celts 
bracelets, 117 f., 130, 141, 170, 175, 

183, 208, 212, 221, 231 
brazing, 38 
Breuil, H., 164 
Bronze Age defined, i 
buckets, 205, 222, 231 
buckles, 127 

burial, collective, 144, 146, 154 
contracted, 140, 148, 153, 184 
extended, 169, 174 
See also coffins; cremation; kists; 

barrows; ship-graves 
Burkitt, M. C., i, 150, 153, 162, 171 
buttons, 35, 126 f., 148, 155, 176, 

208, 229; see also V-perforation 
Byblos, 39, 122, 127 

callais, 146, 149 

cannibalism, 209 

carvings (rock), 149, 158, 164 f., 

J 7 r 2 395 see a ho cup-and-ring 

casting-on, 38, 98 
cauldrons, 205, 222, 231 
Celtic, see Keltic 
celts, flanged, 62, 141, 145, 148, 169, 

175, 179, 185, 199 
flat, 32, 61, 141, 145, 146, 148, 

i5 2 > *53> 167 
palstaves, 32, 64, 169, 175, 186, 

199, 228 
socketed, 34, 66, 71, 169, 197, 199, 

2O8, 214, 222, 227, 228 

stone, n, 140, 152, 167, 179,208 
trunnion, 68, 197 


celts (contd!) 

winged, 64,^1, 175, 179, 197, 205, 

2O8, 211, 214, 2l8, 227, 228 

chains, 35, 129, 141 

chapes, 87, 229 

chariots, 50, 104, 171 

cheek-pieces, see bits 

chronology, absolute, 68, 115, 236 

relative, 53 
cinerary urns (British), 159, 187, 


cire perdue process, 35 f., 117 
cists, see kists 
clasps, 127, 176, 212 
Clay, C., 232, 235 
climatic changes, 13, 48, 138, 169, 

174, 192, 215 
Coffey, 93 
coffins, 169, 217 
combs, 14, 146, 170, 1 80 
corbelled tombs, 146, 151, 158, 161 
cord ornament, 155, 157, 189, 235 
Corded Ware, 144, 153 
core-casting, 26, 34, 71, 92 
cremation, 152, 158, 174, 179, 184, 

187, 194, 201, 204, 206, 211, 

216, 217 

culture defined, 42 
cup-and-ring marks, 150, 164 f. 
cupellation, 19 
Curwen, C., 159 
Cycladic culture, 20, 61, 71, 78, 90, 

93, 101, 105, in, 132, 137 
cylinders, arm, 117, 121, 175, 182, 

208, 209 
Cyprus, 61, 78, 90, 107, no, 114 

daggers, flint, 145, 155, 169 

riveted, 26, 41, 75, 78, 141, 145, 
148, 152, 153, 155, 158, 167, 
179, 181, 185, 186, 199 
tanged, 76 
West European, 78, 145, 146, 155, 


Dchelette t J., 56, 152 n. 
diffusionist hypothesis, 10, 24, 40 
double-axes, 30, 34, 53, 72, 199 
Dowris, 232 

Duhn, von, 244 

ear-rings, 118, 129, 140 

Egypt* 9 Ir > 3> 35> 5 8 > 6z > 6 7> 68 > 
93, 94, 97, 104, 122, 193, 23 8 > 
see also predynastic; Middle 
Kingdom; Badarian, etc. 

El Argar, 147, 190 

Evans, A. J., 21 

faience, 133 f., 149, 152, 190, 231 

ferrules, 78, 90, 92, 97 

fibulae, one-piece, H3f., 180, 196, 

201, 205, 212, 221, 222, 236, 

2 37. 
two-piece, 115 f., 170, 172, 208, 

218, 231 
fields, 161, 226 

figurines, 14, 17, 180, 184, 198 
finger-rings, 123, 125, 170, 175, 201, 


flanges (on hilts), 79, 82, 85, 86 
flood, the, 1 6 
fluted ornament, 208, 211, 214, 234, 


Folkton, 1 66 

food vessels, 144, 156, 187 
forts, 13, 148, 153, 160, 178, 190, 

2IO, 226 

founders' hoards, 45, 193, 197, 199, 

206, 222, 227 
fount, 34 

Fox, C., 159, 167, 225 
fretwork ornament, 157, 176, 184, 


Gata, 139, 185 

ghost-hole, 194 

girdles, 127, 205; see also clasps 

Glasinac, 221, 245 

glass and glazes, 14, 134, 170, 176, 

179, 204, 2O8, 212 

gorgets, 123, 130, 170, 1 86, 218 
gouges, 67, 70, 211, 214 
graphite, 206, 211, 214 
Greenwell, Canon, 92 
Grey Wethers, the, 163 
Grimspound, 226 


grooved hammer-stones, 6, 141, 147 
guards (on swords), 83 

hafting, methods of, 59, 62, 67, 68, 

70, 87, 94, 10 1 
halberds, 87 f., 144, 146, 148, 152 n., 

1 66 

Hallstatt, 115, 214, 236, 245 
harness, 50, 103, 227 
Heathery Burn, 229, 231 
Helladic cultures, 20 f., 90, 93, 123, 

i37> 194 
Hellenes, 246 
helmets, 200, 204 
Helmsdorf, 144 
hilts, 76, 82, 84 f. 
hoards, varieties and value of, 19, 30, 

43; see also founders* hoards; 


horn -shaped fire-dogs, 212, 215 
horse domesticated, 171, 183, 205, 


houses, log-cabins, 206, 210 
megaron type, 19, 22 
pit-dwellings, 140, 153, 210, 226, 

round (hut-circles), 13, 160, 198, 

202, 226, 239 
Huelva, 93, 197, 227, 237 
hut-circles, see houses 

Illyrians, 244 f. 

impurities in copper, 8 

incense cups, 188 f. 

Indo-Europeans, 241 

Indus culture, 2, 8 n., 12, 16, 50, 68, 

101, 107, 132, 134 
ingot torques, 30, 44, 74, 122, 141, 

176, 186, 201, 208 
invasions, 23, 153, 181, 209, 222, 


iron, 2, 23, 193, 204, 222 
Italici, 1 80, 227, 244 

jet, 127, 133, 146, 166, 229 

Keltic fields, 226 

Kelts, 173, 186, 217. 222. 24.2 

Kish, 16, 49, 238 

kists, megalithic, 140, 144, 150, 151, 

169, 185 

Kivik, 165, 171, 221, 238 
Klicevac, 185 

knee-shafts, 59, 62, 68, 218 
knives, 94 f., 169, 179, 205, 208, 

211, 214, 218 
Knossos, 85 

Knovfz culture, 209, 222, 238 
Kossinna, G., 85, 242, 243 
Kraft, G., 56 

lake-dwellings, see pile-dwellings 

language and culture, 240 

La Tene culture, 236 

lathe, 51, 136, 170, 188 

Latins, 202, 204 

Lausitz culture, 206, 210, 222, 227, 

242, 245, 246 
lead, 5, 172 
Leubingen, 144 
Levkas, 20, 90, 123, 194 
lip-plugs, 127 
lock-rings, 129, 141, 183; see also 


Los Millares, 146, 148 
Lucretius, 2 

lunulae, 41, 43, 124, 137, 166 
lurer, 221, 232, 233 
lynchets, 226 

Maes Howe, 161 

malachite, 14 

megalithic monuments, see burial, 

collective; corbelled tombs; 

kists, megalithic; Avebury; 

stone circles, etc. 
Mesopotamia, 38, 535 see also Pre- 

diluvian, Sumerian 
Middle Kingdom defined, 16 
midrib, 76, 85 
mining, 6, 28, 210 
Minoan culture, 19, 50, 53, 58, 68, 

71, 78, 82, 83, 85, 93, 98, 101, 

113, 125, 127, 132, 136, 137, 

142, 166, 179, 190, 196, 212, 

222, 238 

INDEX 257 

monogamy, 239 
Montelius, O % , 55, 56, 66 
moulds, 32, 147, 167, 179, 186, 206 
Mtiller, Sophus, 55, 66, 85 
Mycenae, 13, 22, 82, 89, 104, 113, 

148, 196, 238 
Myres, J. L., 113 

native copper, 3, 5 

navigation, 20, 51; see also sails; 


New Grange, 158, 164, 166 
New Kingdom defined, 16 
nozzles, 28, 30 
nuraghe, 198 

Old Kingdom defined, 16 
open-hearth process, 32, 6 1, 76 
ores, 3, 5, 7, 14, 28, 147, 192, 197, 

2IO, 222 

Palmella, 146 

pendants, see wheel-pendants 

people defined, 42 

peristalith, 161 

Perjdmos, 139, 185 

Pigorini, 180, 202, 244 

pile-dwellings, 145, 179, 185, 213 

pins, 14, 106, 141, 152, 153, 172, 

180, 183, 186, 205, 212, 214, 

218, 221, 228 
place-names, 240 
ploughs, 49, 171, 226, 239 
pommels, 82, 87 
potter's wheel, see wheel 
Pouges-les-Eaux, 215 
Prediluvian culture, 16, 25, 61, 71, 

101, 127 
Predynastic culture, 14 f., 24, 39, 51, 

61, 78, 101, 107 

Q-Kelts, 242 
queens, 239 

Rademacher, 243 
Randall-Maclver, 201, 202, 244 
rapiers, 32, 82 f., 175, 179, 181, 186, 
196, 238 

rattles, 206, 215 

razors, 97 f., 170, 180, 187, 196 f., 

199, 201, 205, 208, 211, 214, 

216, 218, 228 
reduction, 5 
Reinecke, P., 55 
Remedello, 14 
retardation defined, 57 
ricasso 9 83, 85, 228 
rivets, 37, 83, 89 
Romans, see Italici 
routes, see trade 

sails, 9, 52 
salt, 204, 210, 224 
science, 3 
Scyths, 222, 246 
seals, 10, 53, 125 
seam, 34,^71 

self-sufficiency of neolithic com- 
munities, 4, 9 
Shardana, 191, 193 
shells, marine, in inland regions, 141, 


shields, 175, 213, 229, 237 
ships, 52, 171, 200 
ship-graves, 217 
sickles, 10 1 f., 169, 175, 179, 186, 

199, 202, 208, 211, 224,227,228 
Silesian culture, 209 
Siret, 147 

slaves, 10, 172, 192 
Slavonian culture, 145 
Slavs, 246 
smelting, 28 

smith, position of the, 4, 10 
Smith, Sidney, 39 
solar symbols, 135, 205, 212, 218 
solder, 37, 85, 172 
spears, socketed, 34, 92 f., 175, 181, 

186, 197, 199, 205, 208, an, 

222, 229, 237 
tanged, 90, 180, 224 
specialization, industrial, 5, 15, 30, 


spectacle brooch, 115 
spiral ornament, 75, 122, 164, 165, 

172, 180, 184, 212, 222 

258 INDEX 

spouts to vases, 136, 206 

Stennis, 163 

stone circles, 162 f. 

Stonehenge, 162 

Strabo, 172 

Straubing, 139, 210 

sub-boreal, see climatic changes 

Sumerians, 7, 8, 17, 26, 35, 37, 39, 

5 53, 7i 78, 9> 97 IOI I0 5 

106, in, 125, 128, 129, 136, 238 

swords, 85 f., 148, 169, 179, 197, 

205, 208, 211, 2l8, 222, 227, 
228, 246 

terremare, 104, 178, 184, 202, 244 

Teutons, 169, 172, 216, 241 

Thomsen, 2 

Thracians, 245 

tin, 5, 8, n, 28, 40, 140, 147, 214 

toilet-sets, 101 

torques, 1 1 8, 123, 186 

torsion, 122, 219 

T6szeg, 139, 145, 180, 183 

trade, conditions of, 38, 39 

evidence for, 14, 17, 20, 44, 139, 
144, 146, 167, 172, 179, 181, 
190, 202, 205, 208, 213, 227 

routes, 46, 56, 139, 144, 168, 213, 


Troy, 18, 19, 50, 61, 71, 78, 90, 94, 
102, 107, 123, 129, 136, 140 

trumpets, 171, 221, 232, 247 

Trundholm, 220, 239 

tutuli, 118, 128, 170, 176, 183, 

tweezers, 100, 170 

types, function of, 42 

typological chronology explained 
13, 53 

Ur of the Chaldees, 13, 16, 17, 26, 

39, 49, 128, 238 
urnfields, 194, 201, 204, 205, 207, 

209, 212, 227, 243 

V -perforation, buttons with, 133, 

H9> 155, M8 

valve moulds, 32, 62, 71, 76 
Vapheio, 142 
vessels, metal, 36, 135, 189, 201, 204, 

208, 212, 214, 219 
stone, 14, 136, 189 
Vikings, 217 

Villanova culture, 202 f., 214 
violin-bow fibula, 113 
votive hoards, 44 

wart ornament, 176, 180, 206, 211 
weights, 53, 74 
wheel, potter's, 50, 137 
wheel-pendants, 135, 176, 212 
wheeled vehicles, 9, 49, 150, 220 
Windmill Hill, 160 
wire, 37, 106 n. 
woodwork, 137, 157, 228 
wrist-guards, 120, 148, 152 
writing, 9, 53 

X -section of torques, 123 
xerophilous plants, 174 

youths employed as bellows, 30 
zinc, 7